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Purchase tickets. Some of the Saturday programs have limited capacity and require a separate ticket. Tickets will be available at registration on a first-come, first-served basis.
 

DAY 1: Friday, October 20, 2017

SESSION 1
9:30–11:15 am

Opening Performance
Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director, Brooklyn Museum
Tom Healy, writer and Guest Curator, Brooklyn Museum

“If There’s a Heaven, I Can’t Find a Stairway”: Can Art Create a Way Forward?
Cultural critic Touré in conversation with rap artist Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter of The Roots. They discuss creative responsibilities, artistic imagination, and staying inspired as artists, thinkers, and global citizens.

Keynote
Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator from New York, in conversation with Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director, Brooklyn Museum, on the awesome impact of one person, one change, or one story.

When Does Practice Become the Real Thing?: A Talk on Community Benefits
Roberta Uno, Director, Arts in a Changing America, gives a talk on best practices and effective strategies for creating inclusive and dynamic cultural communities. How do we shift institutional priorities, build equitable relationships, and encourage accountability?

Creative Resistance: The Role of the Artist
Paola Mendoza, filmmaker and Artistic Director, Women’s March on Washington, speaks on how artists can help drive change through cultural creation, connecting people through their common humanity.

SESSION 2
11:30 am–1:25 pm

Across the Line: Changing Culture with Virtual Reality
Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Experience Officer, Planned Parenthood, in conversation with Lindsey Taylor Wood, Founder and President, The Helm. This conversation explores how Planned Parenthood uses art and such new media as virtual reality to tell stories, expand their reach, and inspire change. Through these creative strategies they focus not only on policy victories but on changing the culture of shame and stigma around women’s sexual and reproductive health.

Can Politicians Think Like Artists?
A conversation among artists Hank Willis Thomas and Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress, moderated by Tom Healy. They unpack what artists and policy-makers may be able to learn from each other as creative dissenters and boundary-pushers.

Everyday Creativity: Making Change in Communities
A conversation among Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director, The Laundromat Project; Ebony Noelle Golden, Founder and CEO, Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative; and Sade Lythcott, CEO, National Black Theatre, moderated by Adjoa Jones de Almeida, Director of Education, Brooklyn Museum. Three community arts leaders get together to discuss the complexities and transformative power of their local practices and initiatives in New York City, amplifying the link between creativity, imagination, and neighborhood well-being.

Amplifier: Hear Our Voice
Cleo Barnett, artist, curator, and Program Director, Amplifier, gives a brief talk on making art specifically for movement-building and harnessing the power of positive propaganda for elevating voices, including working with the Women’s March on Washington.

How to Build a Movement
Linda Sarsour and Bob Bland, national co-chairs of the Women’s March on Washington, reflect on the massive global success of the January 21, 2017, protest and the ongoing effort to sustain momentum for intersectional women’s rights. Moderated by Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.

BREAK FOR LUNCH
1:25–2:30 pm

SESSION 3
2:30–4:20 pm

Planting Seeds for Communities of Change
Alvin Starks, Senior Program Officer, Open Society Foundations, in conversation with Anjali Kumar, Chief People Officer and General Counsel, Cheddar Inc., and William Floyd, Head of External Affairs, Google New York and California; moderated by Rashida Bumbray, Senior Program Manager of Arts Exchange, Open Society Foundations. Members of philanthropic foundations and the corporate and start-up sectors discuss how the arts can help institutions create a culture of engagement that supports social justice and helps communities thrive.

Faith and Social Change in Brooklyn
Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, and Reverend Eric Thomas, Interim Pastor, Siloam Presbyterian Church in Bed-Stuy, discuss spiritual life in Brooklyn with Joyce S. Dubensky, CEO, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, with particular attention to belonging, allyship, safety, and self-expression.

Our Bodies Ourselves: Advocacy through Feminist Filmmakers
Pamela Berger and Jane Pincus, founders of the trailblazing women's health organization Our Bodies Ourselves, unite with Julie Childers, OBOS Executive Director, and Ayesha Chatterjee, OBOS Global Project team, to present their work—remarkable for its longevity—and an intergenerational discussion of feminist activism, including a screening of vintage films from the Global Women’s Health Movement.

Black Lives Matter: The Future of a Movement
CNN political commentator Sally Kohn interviews Alicia Garza, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, on systemic racism, the movement, rage, and hope.

SESSION 4
4:35–6:15 pm

Making Brooklyn Well: Designing Healthy Communities for Everyone
Richard Cook, co-founder of COOKFOX architecture firm, and Brenda Rosen, President and CEO, Breaking Ground, discuss the intersection of design and community wellness. They unpack strategies for supporting mental and physical health through connections to nature in the built environment, and the efficacy of good design to create safety and security for Brooklyn’s most vulnerable citizens.

Open Access: A Creative Practice
Canadian social practice artist Carmen Papalia presents on the empathic possibilities of his work, which has been described as an “open-sourcing of his own access . . . making visible the opportunities for learning and knowing through the non-visual senses.”

Indigenous Art and Organizing: A Conversation on Policy, Practice, and Representation
Jodi Gillette, former advisor to President Obama; Kevin Gover, Director, National Museum of the American Indian; and artist Jeffrey Gibson discuss the ethics of representing and supporting indigenous art, history, and culture. They share lessons learned and strategies for ensuring inclusion, growth, and exchange among institutions, artistic communities, and governments. Moderated by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.

The Fight for Opportunity: Immigration Now
Tania Bruguera, artist and inaugural Artist-in-Residence of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, joins Murad Awawdeh, Vice President of Advocacy, New York Immigration Coalition, and artist Felipe Baeza for a discussion of political challenges facing New York’s immigrant communities and the creative possibilities of Arte Útil, or “useful art.”

SESSION 5
6:30–8:15 pm

The Value of Storytelling in Education with performances from SLUT: The Play and Now That We're Men
Teacher, writer, and director Katie Cappiello and Beau Willimon, playwright and creator of House of Cards, explore the fusion of theater arts and activism in education and the active benefits of the theater as a space to encourage challenging conversations on topics like gender norms and sexual assault.

I Can’t Breathe: A Reflection
Artist and performer Shaun Leonardo presents a performative reflection and meditation on self-preservation, aggression, and the fight to survive in over-policed communities of color. Conducted in memory of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Jamar Clark, Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Ramarley Graham, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin… and countless others.

Who Says Who We Are? The Ethics of Representation
Claudia Rankine, poet, essayist, and founder of The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII); artist Sam Durant; Coco Fusco, artist, writer, and professor; and Antwaun Sargent, writer and art critic, approach a topic of recent museological and political urgency, tackling the ethics of representation, the current state of racial and identity politics in the art world, and the repercussions of visual culture.

Closing Remarks
Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director, Brooklyn Museum

Concluding Performance
The Resistance Revival Chorus

Reception, Rubin Pavilion, 1st Floor
 

Day 2: Saturday, October 21, 2017

11:15 am–12:45 pm Mirror/Echo/Tilt, Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st Floor
MELANIE CREAN
A performative workshop led by Melanie Crean and developed by Shaun Leonardo, Melanie Crean, and Sable Elyse Smith focused on questioning and shifting the American concept of criminality. Attendees engage in short physical storytelling exercises to explore how ideas of criminality are represented in popular media as well as everyday social exchange.

11:15 am–12:45 pm ArtChangeUS Presents: Grounding from Knowing, Luce Center for American Art, 5th Floor
EMILY JOHNSON
How can we imagine change without understanding our present and past relationship to place and land? This workshop focuses on where we are—Lenapehoking—the Lenape homeland. It is not a history lesson, but rather an exploration of how to build relationships with land and place so that we are better able to extend care and enliven true change.

11:15 am–12:45 pm Creative Resistance, Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor
PAOLA MENDOZA and SARAH SOPHIE FLICKER
Join Paola Mendoza, Artistic Director, Women’s March on Washington, and Sarah Sophie Flicker, cultural organizer and activist, for an intimate roundtable about the role of artists in resisting injustice. They discuss lessons learned from the Women's March and how they use art to combat oppression and marginalization. Brainstorming sessions, break-out groups, and sharing of ideas to follow.

11:30 am–12:15 pm We Shouldn’t Have Policies That We are Afraid to Talk About, Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
LAURIE JO REYNOLDS
Artist and activist Laurie Jo Reynolds presents a dynamic talk that considers state responses to sexual abuse and violence, examining unintended consequences of public registration, notification laws, and related restrictions. Q&A with audience members follows.

11:30 am­–12:30 pm; 12:30–1:30 pm; 2–3 pm Amplify Your Voice: Silkscreening Protest Art, Rubin Pavilion, 1st Floor
AMPLIFIER
Amplifier, the organization that flooded the streets with images of hope during the Inauguration and Women’s March, offers a screenprinting workshop and discusses how images can be used to fuel movements. Participants get to screen-print their own protest poster.

11:30 am–1 pm Film Retrospective of the Global Women’s Health Movement, Sackler Center, Forum, 4th Floor
OUR BODIES OURSELVES founders
In this session, Our Bodies Ourselves founders present the films Abortion (1971) and Jane: An Abortion (1995) and lead a post-screening discussion.

12:30–2 pm; 3:30–5 pm D.I.Y. Zine-Making, Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor
CON ARTIST COLLECTIVE
Before the internet there were zines. Learn about the history of zines and their political engagement, with artists from New York’s Con Artist Collective, which invites participants to make their own zines.

1–2 pm Google’s Love Letters, Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
MALIKA SAADA SAAR and others to be announced
Join Malika Saada Saar, Google's Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights, for a video presentation and discussion of Google’s project partnering with criminal justice reform groups to connect kids with their incarcerated parents.

1:30–3 pm Film Retrospective of the Global Women’s Health Movement, Sackler Center, Forum, 4th Floor
OUR BODIES OURSELVES
Our Bodies Ourselves founders present La Operación (1982), a seminal documentary by filmmaker Ana María García on the mass sterilization of Puerto Rican women in the 1950s and 1960s, and leads a post-screening discussion with a focus on contemporary activism.

1:30–4:30 pm Staging Change: The Fusion of Theater Arts and Activism, Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st Floor (free teen workshop)
KATIE CAPPIELLO
This free hands-on workshop led by playwright Katie Cappiello guides teens in the creation of plays grounded in social justice themes. Through acting exercises, group discussion, and creative writing, teens collaborate to devise original performance pieces that shed light on the challenges they and their peers face locally, nationally, and even worldwide.

2–3:30 pm The Laundromat Project Presents: We the News, Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor
LIZANIA CRUZ
Join the Laundromat Project’s 2017 Bed-Stuy Create Change artist-in-residence Lizania Cruz for a discussion and hands-on zine-making workshop from her project We the News, based on the idea of sanctuary. Lizania co-creates spaces of sanctuary through the use of language, personifying the role storytelling plays in uniting, empowering, and building community.

2–4:30 pm Film: New York Premiere of Winnie (2017), Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
The Brooklyn Conference in partnership with the March on Washington Film Festival proudly presents the New York premiere of Winnie (2017), directed by Pascale Lamche, followed by a conversation with Gay McDougall, U.N. Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and others to be announced. This is the untold story of the mysterious forces that combined to take down Winnie Mandela, who fought on the front line and underground against apartheid in South Africa while her husband Nelson Mandela served a life sentence. In the end, Nelson was labeled a saint and Winnie a sinner.

3:30–5 pm Open Access, Sackler Center, Forum, 4th Floor
CARMEN PAPALIA
In reaction to his own challenges in receiving institutional disability support services, artist and disability activist Carmen Papalia developed a new, relational model for accessibility called Open Access. In this participatory discussion-based workshop, Papalia introduces participants to the Open Access framework and discusses his experiences organizing for accessibility and mutual aid.

4:30–5 pm The Dream Unfinished Orchestra Performance, Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Join us for a performance by activist orchestra The Dream Unfinished.

4:30–5:15 pm Artist’s Eye: Natalie Frank and Zoë Buckman, Sackler Center, 4th Floor
This series of intimate, in-gallery talks by contemporary artists illuminates our special exhibitions with fresh and alternative perspectives. Artists Natalie Frank and Zoë Buckman respond to Roots of “The Dinner Party”: History in the Making.

5–6 pm Hewing a Stone of Hope from the Mountain of Despair: The Art of a New Politics, Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
For the concluding talk of the conference, writer and New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow, Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, Vice President, Open Society Foundations, and Brittany Packnett, Vice President, National Community Alliances for Teach For America, are in conversation about the interplay of the creative imagination and practical politics. How is the society we actually build shaped by the worlds we can imagine? 

Generous support for The Brooklyn Conference has been provided by Open Society Foundations.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Use our award-winning app to get the most out of your next visit to the Brooklyn Museum.

Ask questions, get info, and share insights—via live, one-on-one texting—with one of our knowledgeable and friendly experts. Our team currently includes an archaeologist and anthropologist as well as art historians and educators.

It’s easy and fun, and you’re in control the whole time—use it a little, or a lot. All questions welcome!

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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 currently open by appointment only. 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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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 Second Floor:

Also on the Second Floor

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

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

Restrooms
Restrooms are on the first and third floors (floor plan), are wheelchair accessible, and have baby-changing tables. A family restroom 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 restrooms 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
Need information on the go? Planning your next visit? Access www.brooklynmuseum.org from your mobile phone to view our mobile-friendly website.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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

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

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.

Could you give me some information?
The subject of this painting is the sister-in-law of a friend of the artist, Henri Fantin-Latour. She was the wife of a businessman Leon Maitre. Fantin-Latour painted her three times. LaTour prefered painting quiet scenes of men and women he knew well. Like Madame Maitre, they often seem absorbed in their own interior world, a new development in society portraiture.
Surprisingly, considering how beautiful and mysterious this portrait is, the artist is best known for paintings of flowers and group portraits, not portraits of a single subject.
Is Mary supposed to be topless and this was censored?
I'm glad to see you're looking so closely at Maso di Banco's triptych. Mary is not meant to be topless, it appears as though her shirt is a sort of coral or salmon color, and the typical blue robe she is often seen wearing is draped around her. On occasion she is presented breast feeding (Madonna Lactans) the Christ Child which was seen as a sign of her compassion and does not seem to have caused offense.
This left-hand panel is separated into three 'scenes' in a vertical manner: the top scene shows the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary she would conceive Jesus. The middle scene shows the shepherds, who were told about the coming of Jesus by angels, and who visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph after Jesus' birth. And the bottom scene, that you sent a photo of, is a nativity scene. Jesus is in the manger, the Virgin Mary is relaxed next to the baby, and Joseph sits at the front, all three figures have halos above their heads. This way of showing a story in various scenes on top of each other is called a 'stacked composition' and was popular to help tell stories.
Thank you!
This guy looks like he is struggling on Tinder!
Haha! His name is Ivan Mestrovic and he was a sculptor. His student Malvina Hoffman used him as a model for one of her projects, which later became this over life-size figure of Mestrovic. While it does look like he is puzzled with a dating app, if you look closely you will see he actually holds a mold of clay, showing his role as an artist.
Can you tell me about 28.384?
That is "Martinique Woman" by Malvina Hoffman. This work is one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928. It is carved out of black metamorphic stone. There is also a large-scale sculpture by Hoffman on view in Luce, it is of one of her sculpture teachers, Ivan Mestrovic.
Can you tell me about this?
This statue dates to a period when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt which explains the man's unusual clothing and jewelry. The high skirt tied at the chest is distinctly Persian as is the necklace, called a "torque," featuring ibexes. Despite the Persian garments, this man still wears an Egyptian-style wig and had Egyptian-style features.
I'd like to know what this is.
Simply put, this is a chair. The Ancient Egyptians invented chairs like this in the 2nd Dynasty and you can see similar seating depicted in some of the reliefs in the gallery. Animal feet--in this case lion--were popular on Ancient Egyptian chairs and the protrusions below the feet were designed to secure the chair in sockets.
Hi! That is the "Century Vase," made for the United States Centennial anniversary in 1876.
I bet you spotted the silhouette of George Washington already! If you keep looking, you will see many scenes from American history and images of American innovations including the sewing machine and telegraph poles! This work was meant to be publicly displayed and to act as a sort of advertisement for America's past, present, and future at that 100-year mark.
It was shown in Philadelphia in 1876, in a big exhibition that was open to the public to mark the Centennial. It had buildings and booths dedicated to various industries and trades, to art, etc. It was the first World's Fair held in the United States!
That's awesome! Super cool!
I agree! It was a major attraction. It took 10 years to plan, and it was held in the area that is present-day Fairmount Park.
How did the Brooklyn museum acquire it?
It was a gift from the descendants of the man who founded Union Porcelain Works, the Brooklyn-based company that made it.
In the erotic art from Ptolemaic Egypt, why are the proportions of the genitals so unrealistic?
Keeping in mind that such pieces were made to be deposited in tombs scholars think that the oversized genitals may represent the person's wish to be sexually potent in the afterlife. Also, this is strong symbolism for fertility, of course! Much of ancient Egyptian myth revolves around birth, death, and resurrection, the central story involves the god Osiris, who impregnated his wife, Isis, after he was dead, thus creating an heir, after the fact. And I can guess that the idea of fertility on all levels must have been so central to their culture, the crops, the livestock, the continuity of the royal line.
Just the other day, I saw some graffiti of a giant phallus (shall we say) in a subway station. Some things are universal!
I know in Pompeii they were placed everywhere as a symbol of good luck. (Not to lead you to a brothel, which is a common misconception). The idea is that a phallus makes you laugh, which wards off bad luck!
I like that idea, I guess. I might not put it into practice in my own home, though!
Is this sculpture broken or was this how the artist wanted the hand at the top to look? What does the hand mean?
It's meant to be that way! Rodin deliberately made many of his works to look rough and unfinished. He believed it gave his works a greater emotional impact as if you could feel the sculpture emerging from the raw material. It also differentiated his sculpture from the highly finished academic work of his contemporaries. “The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation,” Rodin said. As for the hand, this is part of the story of Orpheus. Orpheus was an amazingly gifted musician and singer. You might see that he's holding his lyre, a stringed instrument.
When his wife Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and convinced the gods of the underworld by playing and singing for them to release her and send her back to the living world. But he had to promise not to look back as he and Eurydice went back up to the land of the living. He forgot, and looked back to check on Eurydice, thus losing her to the underworld again, permanently. That hand is all we see of Eurydice here.
This painting makes me feel motivated yet small.
I think Bierstadt would have been happy to hear that! The size of the painting, and the panoramic effect of that view, are so bold! We can't help but feel awed, right?
Exactly!
At the same time, he (and his contemporaries) were thinking about westward settlement and "Manifest Destiny," the belief that Euro-Americans were divinely appointed to move across the content and make it their own. He wanted to create a sense of excitement and possibility about the frontier that lay to the west. He was definitely working for eastern audiences -- and this was their "introduction" to places they hadn't been yet.
Is it a warning against Manifest Destiny? The skies ahead do look rather intimidating!
Bierstadt worked closely with surveyors who were assessing the land for the U. S. Government and he shared their optimism about white ownership of all that territory. So it is not a warning, it is more of an advertisement of the expansive land waiting to be claimed.
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.