A Family Album: Brooklyn Collects
A Family Album: Brooklyn Collects presents more than two hundred works of art on loan from eighty-five private collectors, celebrating the variety and character of our lenders through the objects they collect. Ranging from ancient Egyptian sculpture to recent video art, these works are organized by lender rather than content. Personal statements included here from many of the collectors—about art , the Brooklyn Museum, or the borough of Brooklyn—offer us meaningful insight.
Our lenders have ties to Brooklyn as diverse as the art in these galleries. Some were born here and stayed, some moved away, and some—like myself—have returned. Several , without any former connection, have selected Brooklyn as their home or workplace. For many, the borough resonates with associations, from Ebbetts Field and Coney Island to today’s vibrant community of artists in Williamsburg. For others, this Museum represents the spirit of Brooklyn and the place they were first introduced to art and, in a special sense, to the world.
The idea for Brooklyn Collects grew out of my own feelings about the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and from the very personal experiences expressed in the hundreds of letters that I received when I was appointed Director. In remembering my own childhood experience here, I can focus immediately on one object that has stayed with me for half a century: an exquisite Egyptian ibis coffin in the Museum’ s collection. This Ptolemaic “madeleine” released sweet memories from my youth when I visited it again upon thinking about returning to the BMA, this time as its Director.
Whether you view this exhibition as a singular “history of art ,” or as a mirror of individual tastes and personalities, it is most of all an extraordinary diorama of “pictures” in our unique “family album.” At some time, all of these collectors—and countless others not included here—found Brooklyn or the Brooklyn Museum to be part of their lives. By lending these objects for others to enjoy, these collectors have, in turn, become more a part of this institution’s life, and I offer my thanks for this tangible, generous, and familial gesture.