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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

Saul Restaurant + Bar
We're delighted to welcome Brooklyn's acclaimed Saul restaurant and bar into the Museum, brought to you by Chef Saul Bolton. Saul offers lunch, brunch, dinner, and tasting menus, complemented by an impressive wine list. Children are welcome. For more information and reservations, call 718.501.6462 or visit Saul's website.

The Counter
Stop by The Counter café for a casual brunch or lunch, with fare overseen by Chef Bolton. We offer freshly prepared sandwiches, salads, sweets, and daily specials, which you can enjoy at the café or to go. The Counter also serves wine and local beer.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the Fifth Floor

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the Fourth Floor

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the Third Floor

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

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Our Second Floor galleries are currently closed for renovations.

Also on the Second Floor

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

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

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

Dining
Stop by the BKM Café or BKM Bowl. Planning a group tour? Consider a catered lunch for your group. (Saul is temporarily closed to bring you an exciting new Brooklyn dining experience.)

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

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

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

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

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

Go Mobile
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the First Floor

Also on the First Floor

  • Admissions Desk
  • Museum Shop
  • Dining (Saul is temporarily closed. Stop by our BKM Café and Bowl.)

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

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
ASK App ASK Team

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

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Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
Everything in that case is made of materials that were innovative or unusual at the time! That armchair is made of cast iron and it incorporates a design of plant leaves. Can you see them? Behind it, you'll see a small table made from 42 animal horns!
I think I have an arm chair like that one at home!
The 1880s was a time of prosperity for the United States, and the expanding middle class and upper middle class were buying furniture for their newly built homes. Furniture manufacturers catered to this new market by coming up with surprising materials and new designs.
How will I know if it is authentic, from the time period?
If you were curious, you'd need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in furniture.
Wow, thanks!
What is the significance of the text in red in the Book of the Dead vs the text in black?       
I see you're looking very closely at the Book of the Dead, red text signifies the title of a spell or similarly important words within the document.
This is cool!
Hello and thank you for using our app! I see you're looking at the formidable Speaker Figure. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful texture of the carving lines up the body made by the hand adze that was used, a detail the maker wanted to highlight. The Kwakwaka'wakw still perform ceremonies and celebrations with the figures and masks you see in this gallery.
Interesting, thank you.
Can you provide any history or background about this painting? I'm curious about what drove him to paint the spark in such dark background and some general background information would help, too.
The artist, Godfried Schalcken, worked in the Netherlands in the late-17th century, when there was a demand for intimately scaled scenes of everyday life from wealthy merchants and businessmen to in their families' homes. Between 1680 and 1690, however,  Schalcken won international fame, based, above all, on his subtle rendering of various kinds of natural and artificial light. He painted many scenes of figures blowing out candles or torches in dark interiors, but we aren't sure of the exact meaning behind that motif. His interest in artificial lighting came from his teacher, Gerrit Dou, who's self portrait you can see on this wall as well.
I see.
It did give him an opportunity to show his skill at representing light and shadow! I'm wondering whether he might have been aware of the earlier Italian painter Caravaggio who also explored effects of focused light in contrast with dark shadow.
There is a reflection of the fire in the boy's eye. Just one bright spot, it's gorgeous.
If you're curious about Northern Baroque painting, the Hals portrait of the man with the white ruff holding a small object in his hand is worth a look. He's holding a small painting, a portrait within a portrait! The trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") effect of the oval "frame"-within-a-frame is also fascinating.
Thanks for your introduction.
Hello and thank you for using our app! It's interesting how many visitors have been drawn to Hassam's painting as the start to a conversation with us here on the ASK team. Can I ask what drew you to this work in particular?
The technique for painting the snow and the mist.
I was just about to say, I think viewers are drawn to how Hassam captures the feeling of a snowy evening so viscerally. If you give me a moment, I can tell you about his technique. While I type, try to look closely and see if you can find the layers of color he used.
The museum conservators did a technical examination of this painting and found that the canvas was first fully covered with a thin layer of a purple pigment, can you see it radiating from beneath the other layers? He then filled out some details, like the carriages and trees and figures, with charcoal on top of this later. Then, Hassam applied the different shadings of blue paint for the foreground and sky. These were done with thick, long, diagonal brushstrokes, which creates that feeling of snow in the atmosphere, or as you described it, the mistiness.
Having left spaces empty for the sketched-in charcoal details, he finally filled them in with touches of color. For the glowing effect of the gas lamps and electric lights, he used heavier touches of pink and yellow that punctuate the predominant blues.
I hope that helps you understand Frederick Childe Hassam's painting technique! If you enjoy this painting, I recommend also observing Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Arch" in the peach-colored room in the American Art exhibition.
Thank you!
My pleasure!
Why are some plates in 3-D?
Chicago explains the plates transforming from completely flat designs (in the first historical section of the table) to sculptural (in the last section) as an allusion to the freedom women slowly gained (and sometimes lost) over time. The final plates, for Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf, are very sculptural because Chicago felt it was the historical point, beginning in the 1920s, at which women developed their own visual and written language to describe the female experience. 
Why did the curator put these objects together?
The views shared by many Americans around the centennial towards Native Americans people, contrasted with actual works made by Natives, are being highlighted here. Many people regarded natives as "Noble Savages" that were disappearing and wanted to capture and preserve that legacy.
In actuality, Native American culture was alive and well. Some people continued to lived in traditional ways on tribal lands and others moved into cities and lived like "typical Americans."
Thank you!
You're welcome! You'll notice that many of the works in this room date to the 1870s. 1876 was the United States' Centennial celebration so it was a time of reflection -- what was America all about? How was national identity represented in visual art?
Barns and old homes often have robust paint colors like turquoise. What were the base of such paints from so long ago? How did they make the colors?
It is pretty shocking to think about how much brighter these colors may have been during their time of application. I recall reading about how visitors didn't like the more historically accurate restorations of Mount Vernon. because they were too bright.
Colonial paints had many different bases. The most expensive part of paint was the huge amount of pigment needed to make vibrant colors! The blue color you see in the Cupola House can also be seen in the Nicholas Schenck house, and is called 'Prussian Blue.' It is a modern paint, the Museum did not attempt to recreate the original surface.
Cool, thanks!
You're welcome!
I don't think I've seen snow depicted in this way before.
What about it feels innovative or unique to you? It kind of goes against the natural order of events, or how we think of the progress of snow, right? Usually snow falls down, but this reversal, this violent sweeping upward, creates this sense of unease, and even violence.
Yes, you're right about the upwards motion, it seems cyclonic. The paint seems so thin in places. Can I see the canvas surface?
That's a great question, I can't tell from here, I would have to go up and look at it up close.
There's super thick paint next to untouched canvas, I think.
The artist painted these in Paris at the height of Impressionism, we can see this influence in the broken brushstrokes, but looked also to Gustave Courbet and Realism, note the mottled surfaces throughout. The condition of this picture is actually pristine. When it was treated in 2010 for the current hang, our conservators only removed a yellowed varnish layer and found the original paint intact.
Your colleague may be right. I see thicker paint in that grey brown too. I think now it might be washes!
Also, something about these figures reminds me of Goya's May 3rd. They're both horrific scenes.
I really like your Goya comparison. Vereshchagin's art, like Goya's, really does show us the horrors of war!
Were they painting at the same time?
I'm certain that Vereshchagin was aware of Goya's work as this was completed some 70 years later. Goya passed away in 1828, about 20 years before Vereshchagin was born.
Ah, there you go then. Dates are never my strong point! Thanks! I much prefer this to Google.
Thank you!
Why is the woman in this painting in the dark?
It's interesting that the parlor is more brightly lit and becomes the focus of the scene while she is off to the side and in the darker staircase area.
The title does provide a clue. Someone may be paying her a formal visit at her home. If a woman chose not to receive guests at that moment, she could tell her maid to tell the visitor that she was "not at home." She seems to be excusing herself from the scene and moving into the private, darker part of the house.
Yes, it looks as if she's hiding. But it's a great approach to portrait exactly this moment!
Indeed! We've probably all been "not at home" at some point when someone has stopped by.
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.