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Laura Wheeler Waring. Woman with Bouquet, ca. 1940. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum; Brooklyn Museum Fund for African American Art in honor of Teresa A. Carbone, 2016.2. © Estate of Laura Wheeler Waring. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

American Art

Opening October 4, 2024

American Art Galleries, 5th Floor

How might American art be experienced at this moment? In honor of our 200th anniversary this fall, a transformative reinstallation of the American Art galleries will reorient the ways that the Brooklyn Museum exhibits—and audiences rediscover—this acclaimed collection. A kaleidoscopic display will offer paradigm-shifting interactions with millennia of art.

Black feminist and BIPOC perspectives act as through lines in this vast presentation of more than 400 works. In each of eight galleries, you’ll find a thought-provoking framework inspired by the abundant contributions of historically marginalized cultural producers. Every space is a distinct encounter with the collection, from the bloom-covered walls in “To Give Flowers” to the contemplative respite of “A Quiet Place,” to the chance to strut the runway before an audience of seated portraits in “Several Seats.”

Featuring both collection highlights, such as Laura Wheeler Waring’s Woman with Bouquet, and brand-new acquisitions, such as works by Japanese American artist Hisako Hibi, the galleries will reflect the beauty, wonder, and complexity of American art through the ages. Myriad voices—of curators, artists, Brooklyn Botanic Garden staff, and NYC drag queens, to name a few—add to the many conversations and questions that the reinstallation surfaces. While grappling with heavy histories, the display emphasizes joy, celebrating American art and artists in all their forms. You’re invited to discover them anew and take a fresh look at a foundational collection.

Sections of the Museum’s fifth floor are closed to prepare for this extensive reinstallation.

The American Art galleries are organized by Stephanie Sparling Williams, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art; Caroline Gillaspie, Assistant Curator of American Art; Catherine Futter, Senior Curator, Decorative Arts; Liz St. George, Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts; Nancy Rosoff, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator, Arts of the Americas; Dare Turner, Curator of Indigenous Art; with Grace Billingslea and Michael Gibson-Prugh, Curatorial Assistants, Arts of the Americas and Europe.

Special thanks to our Brooklyn Museum American Art Advisory Committee and Black Feminist Roundtable.

This exhibition is made possible through support from the

Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by Tracey and Phillip Riese. Major support is provided by American International Group, Inc., Saundra Williams-Cornwell and W. Don Cornwell, and Pfizer, Inc. Generous support is provided by Lizanne Fontaine and Robert Buckholz, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Nkonye Okoh. Additional support is provided by the Hasso Philanthropic Foundation and Barbara F. and Richard W. Moore.