The Heat is On

Here at the Brooklyn Museum, we’re never one to shy away from inter-museum competition of all sorts. I’ve blogged before about how art museums and sports have more in common than one might think, and we’ve already seen just how heated the softball games between us and the Metropolitan Museum of Art can get. Now we’re pleased to engage in a competition where we can represent our borough in a museum battle that spans four of five boroughs.

This Thursday, the Brooklyn Museum is taking part in a naval battle hosted by the Queens Museum of Art and Artist Duke Riley, whose work is in our collection. The battle, which Duke has titled “Those About to Die Salute You,” will pit the Queens Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, and El Museo del Barrio against each other in ships that Riley and his team have designed and created. As this Wall Street Journal article points out, this event follows the grand Roman tradition of staging naval battles as a way of entertaining the public and the emperors.  It’s a great chance for public art on a grand scale on a beautiful summer night.


The team we’ve assembled to represent the Museum spans many departments (Technology, Membership, Visitor Services, Education, Conservation, and the Director’s Office, to be exact), and we’ve been preparing in many different ways. I’ve spent the last few evenings brushing up on my von Clausewitz , Shelley has been training at the Red Hook Pool, and the folks from conservation are looking into building a corvus similar to those used during the First Punic War. Needless to say, the excitement is building, as is the trash-talking on twitter.

So if you’re interested in seeing four NYC Museums duke (pun intended) it out on Thursday night, head over to the World’s Fair reflecting pool in Flushing Meadows Corona Park right outside the Queens Museum of Art. The proceedings will start (loosely, we hear) at 6pm, and feel free to wear a toga!