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When you visit the Brooklyn Museum, you can use our app to ask us questions or chat about the artwork you see.

You’ll be connected with a team of art historians and educators who know our collection, can answer your questions, and can give you recommendations on what to see next. 

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Explore our permanent collection or a special exhibition on a guided group tour led by one of our friendly and experienced Museum Guides, or on your own with a self-guided group tour. These tours are for adult groups with at least 10 people, last about one hour, and can be tailored to meet the interests and needs of your group.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

We're renovating our second floor to bring you a better experience, which means the Libraries and Archives are closed to the public until fall 2017. If you're a researcher who would like to access our resources, send us an email and we'll do our best to assist you.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Fifth Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Fourth Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Third Floor

Also on the Third Floor: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Our Second Floor galleries are currently closed for renovations.

Also on the Second Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Parking
Parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays, there's a flat rate of $6 starting at 5 p.m. Park your bicycle in the rack behind the building, next to our sculpture garden.

Shopping
Our Shop offers an eclectic mix of gifts, jewelry, books, clothing, crafts, and foods from around Brooklyn and around the world. Shop hours

Dining
Have small plates, dinner, or drinks at The Norm restaurant and bar, led by Michelin-starred Chef Saul Bolton. Or stop by the BKM Café or Bowl. Planning a group tour? Consider a catered lunch for your group.

Rest Rooms
Rest rooms are on the first and third floors (floor plan), are wheelchair accessible, and have baby-changing tables. A family rest room is located just off the main lobby.

Coat Check
A free coat check is available on the first floor, where you can leave any packages, large bags, umbrellas, or strollers.

Wheelchairs
Complimentary wheelchairs are available at the coat check on the first floor. Our entrances and rest rooms are wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our Accessibility page.

Strollers
You're welcome to use strollers throughout the building (although from time to time there are certain areas where we might need to restrict their use, on account of small spaces, especially fragile art, or other circumstances). If necessary, leave your stroller at the coat check.

Wireless Access
We offer free wireless access throughout our galleries and grounds. During your visit, we encourage you to switch to wifi (BrooklynMuseum) for faster download speeds. The wireless project was created by the Brooklyn Museum Technology Department, with help from NYCWireless.

Go Mobile
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ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

We're committed to making our galleries and facilities accessible to everyone.

  • We are fully wheelchair accessible. Check our online and printed floor plan for details.
  • If you need a wheelchair during your visit, they're available for free at the coat check in the lobby.
  • Companions of people with disabilities are admitted for free.
  • The parking lot behind the Museum is fully accessible. There's a free, 15-minute grace period for pickups and dropoffs.
  • If you need an assistive-listening device, they're available for free at our Admissions Desk, on the first floor.

We also offer a wide range of services for our visitors of all ages with special needs.

  • For those who have low or no vision, guided visits that include verbal descriptions can be scheduled for both adult and school groups, with advance notice. We also offer Sensory Tours, monthly public tours designed to accommodate and engage both sighted and non-sighted visitors. Verbal descriptions of collection highlights are available via Art Beyond Sight.
  • For those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, American Sign Language interpretation for both adult and school group tours can be arranged, with advance notice.
  • For those with intellectual disabilities or other special needs, we offer specially tailored guided gallery visits to adult and school groups.

We hope that you'll get in touch with us via email or at 718.501.6229 if you have questions about any of the above services, or if you'd like to make advance arrangements.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

No matter what your interest, there's a tour for you:

  • Join our Museum Guides for daily public tours (free with admission) focusing on a variety of themes, eras, and movements in art.
  • Book a group tour for ten or more adults.
  • Explore tours and programs for school groups, all designed to help students and teachers construct meaningful experiences with works of art.
ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the First Floor

Also on the First Floor

  • Admissions Desk
  • Museum Shop
  • Dining (The Norm restaurant and bar; BKM Café and Bowl)

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

By Subway

2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum. Transfer to 2/3 from 4/5 (at Nevins Street) and B, D, Q, N, R, and LIRR (at Atlantic Terminal-Barclays Center). See a subway map. Make sure to check with the MTA for any service changes, especially on the weekend.


By Bus

The closest bus stops are:

B41 and B69 at Grand Army Plaza

B45 at St. Johns Place and Washington Avenue

Check with the MTA for the most up-to-date bus information.


By Car

From Manhattan:

Brooklyn Bridge; left at Tillary Street; right on Flatbush Avenue for about 1.5 miles to Grand Army Plaza; about 2/3 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at the first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue). Or: Manhattan Bridge enters directly onto Flatbush Avenue.

From Westchester, the Bronx, Queens, or Connecticut:

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough) to Brooklyn Queens Express (BQE); Manhattan Bridge exit to Tillary Street; left onto Flatbush Avenue and proceed according to the directions from Manhattan.

From Staten Island and southern or central New Jersey:

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Gowanus Expressway (Route 278 towards Manhattan); exit to 38th Street; left on Fourth Avenue for about 2 miles; right on Union Street; 5 blocks to Grand Army Plaza; go 1/2 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue).

From northern or north central New Jersey:

George Washington Bridge/Holland or Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan; follow directions from Manhattan.

From Long Island:

Grand Central Parkway to Jackie Robinson Parkway; exit at Bushwick Avenue; left at third traffic light to Eastern Parkway; about 3 miles to Washington Avenue. We're across intersection at left.


Parking

On-site parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays there's a flat rate of $5 beginning at 5 p.m.


Bikes

Park your bicycle at the racks behind the Museum, next to the Sculpture Garden. Bikes are parked at your own risk; we don't accept responsibility for vandalism or theft.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

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Here's what people are asking.

I like this monochromatic color scheme painted by an African American artist in Paris.
Great eye. It's true that Tanner's work became more monochromatic throughout his career. He was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
And yes, I often wonder what it was like for Tanner to be a minority in such a predominantly white painting environment.
His use of blue is so incredible. As I look at it, I feel like it hovers between day and night, really creating the effect of twilight.
What's the story behind Jane Dickson's "Cops and Headlights V"?
The artist Jane Dickson lived in Times Square in the 1980s and many of her paintings depict the scenes which she saw out of her studio window. At the time, the crime rates were still very high in Manhattan, so she would have seen plenty of police activity nearby. She creates a feeling of suspense by giving us a dramatic viewpoint and a steep, narrow composition. Plus, we can't see the faces of the police and bystanders, and we're not sure exactly what is happening -- all of which creates a feeling of suspense. It's almost like a scene from a movie. Dickson has said, "I use paintings to deal with things I'm afraid of." 
Is this Kwakiutl?
In a way, yes. It is actually Kwakwaka'wakw. Kwakiutl is an outdated term that no tribes use anymore.
This piece was collected from a Kwakwaka'wakw community in Knight's Inlet, British Columbia, Canada on a museum expedition by museum curator Stewart Culin in 1908 working with Charles Newcombe from the Vancouver Curio Shop. At that time, the group was labeled as Kwakiutl, but this was a misunderstanding and an attempt by early white settlers and anthropologists to transcribe the name of one tribe, the kwagu'l from Fort Rupert. "Kwakiutl," a garbled name for one subgroup of Kwakwaka'wakw people, became embedded in the anthropological literature through its use by noted anthropologist Franz Boas. Kwakwaka'wakw actually means "Kwak'wala speakers."
What is the social and spiritual function of the potlatch?
This will be a VERY long answer, so feel free to read it as you walk around or come back to it later, but: Potlatches were elaborate events, usually held in the winter, that included ceremonies of dancing, feasting, displays of regalia, and speeches or oral history telling. They functioned as ways of distributing community wealth, of showing gratitude for something received, and/or of gaining prestige. Although a potlatch could be called by anyone felt that they could afford it, they were mainly given by tribal leaders. A potlatch could be called for many reasons: to show thanks for saving the life of a child who had fallen in the water, to pay respect to deceased relation, as part of a marriage ceremony, to celebrate a child's 1st birthday, to formally induct a chief, to celebrate a birth, to sweep away bad luck, to pay a debt, or to celebrate the coming of age of a girl (and more). The whole tribe or other tribes could be invited to the feast. In turn, the guests witness and acknowledge the host's right to certain inherited privileges such as names, songs, and property. These feasts mark the progress of a person's life.
Spiritual stories could also be told and some sacred events or ceremonies could be associated with potlatches, but they are not wholly religious events in the Euro-Western sense.
What were the criteria determining these four figures?
Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective of artists who are into radical pedagogy and removing the "Sacred" from high-art and art history. Cigarette-smoking porcelain figures with running paint have shown up in several of their works.
I think that this piece in particular is taking the wholesome knick-knack, and the teacher's chalk board, and reclaiming them as a space to "act out," almost like bad students.
Masks like this one represent the Sande society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs. The features of the mask illustrate the group's ideal of feminine beauty, with a broad, high forehead, small narrow eyes, and an elaborate coiffure. The elegant hairstyles also symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.
The Century Vase was made during the country's centennial and if you can see the vignettes, and imagery, it is showcasing important ideas about the US at the time. For example, there are depictions of animals native to North America, like bison, walrus, and rams. There is also a scene with a woman at a sewing machine, showcasing the importance of the manufacture of sewing machines in the country at that time.
What are these Egyptian heads about? Why is it controversial? Is it because the heads are different colors?
That piece is by a contemporary artist named Fred Wilson who deals with issues of race and representations of race within museum collections. You may have read this on the label, but it is a commentary on how Ancient Egyptians are often conceived of/represented as White, when the population was actually very metropolitan made up of many races/ethnicities.
History often whitewashed the fact that Egypt is in Africa, so there were Nubian people living there, and it was close to the Ancient Middle East, so there were populations of Persian people, Jewish people, travelers from Rome and more.
In fact one of the very first historians to write "history books," Herodotus talked about the African aspects of Egyptian civilization when he visited the Nile Valley in the fifth century B.C.E. It wasn't until the 1840s that a group of American authors, writing to justify the Atlantic slave trade, argued that the Egyptians were a separate population with no relation to other Africans. Historians today are now trying to undo that racism.
What is the style of this room?
The "Moorish Style" is one of many "revival styles" that Americans used to furnish their homes in the mid- to later 19th century.
It was often used for rooms like smoking rooms and billiards rooms in affluent homes.
It was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of Muslims who lived in northwest Africa and southern Spain in an earlier era (8th-15th centuries) or, more generally, all sorts of Arab and Indian decorative arts.
It evoked the faraway world of "the Orient" for Westerners and it's distinctive for its use of dark woods, details like tassels and fringes, and patterns like the ones you'll see on the walls and woodwork here.
Why are the noses missing from some Egyptian sculptures?
One very practical reason is that when a statue falls forward, the nose is the first point to hit the ground and it will snap off. There are also more complicated reasons. In some cases, scholars can see that the noses were broken off deliberately with tools. The ancient Egyptians believed tomb statues served as an eternal home for the deceased’s soul. Smashing the nose effectively “killed” the statue. A tomb robber or other enemy of the deceased might break the statue’s nose to destroy the soul and prevent the deceased from taking revenge.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.