Flickr Commons: Begin at the Beginning

We have just joined The Commons on Flickr to share a selection of images with the Flickr community and to begin our partnership, it seemed appropriate that we start at the beginning! William Henry Goodyear was the Museum’s first Curator of Fine Arts. As an architectural historian (he is known for his book entitled The Grammar of the Lotus), he documented his travels. Goodyear collected lantern slides to illustrate his slide lectures which he presented here at the Museum and during his travels around the world. What you see in The Commons today are selections of images documenting Egypt as it appeared around Goodyear’s time as well as what he saw when he visited the Paris Exposition in 1900.

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Left: Lantern Slide Collection: Views, Objects: Egypt. Abu Simbel [selected images]. View 05: Egypt. Abu Simbel., n.d., This slide colored by Joseph Hawkes Brooklyn Museum Archives (S10|08 Abu Simbel, image 9491).

Right: Paris Exposition: Champ de Mars and Palace of Metallurgy, Paris, France, 1900. Exposition of 1900. General view of the Chateau de Mars taken from the Chateau d’Eau. [The Champs de Mars towards the Metallurgie Palace]. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_015 image 1945).

While the Brooklyn Museum staff is the primary user of our Libraries and Archives, we are open to the public and are always looking to reach out to a wide and varied audience. One of the challenges is ensuring everyone knows which resources we have available and listening to the needs of our visitors, so we know what to provide and how best to present these materials. One of the more interesting results of “growing” an encyclopedic collection is that we have research collections that serve as an intellectual link to the objects and perhaps act as storytellers revealing the cultural context of the objects. Think about the possible stories behind these photographs and then tag the images with the story you see. Take a look at these photographs and tell us how you would like to use them. What other materials would you like to see?

We believe that by sharing these images we will support a better understanding of the cultures that have created the great art that is held by this Museum. We hope you will agree.