Realm of Marvels: Building Collections for the Future will explore the dual identity of the Brooklyn Museum of Art as both a treasure house of wonders and an ever-changing institution involved in an on-going process of informed collecting. Seventeen major acquisitions will be presented amid groups of related materials that represent the history, depth, and richness of the Museum's holdings. The profusion of objects on view will serve as a reminder of the voracious appetite for knowledge that sparked the creation of many museums in the nineteenth century.
On view March 17 through June 15, Realm of Marvels is designed to offer visitors an extraordinary visual feast, while at the same time articulating a critical history of individual and institutional collecting.
“This unusual and exciting exhibition exemplifies the newly redefined mission of the Museum: to use its renowned collections and its expertise to serve the public in a more dynamic way as a destination where visitors can find a personal connection to the past, present, and future through art,” states Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman, who initiated the project. “The BMA is a bridge between the rich artistic heritage of world cultures, as embodied in its collections, and the unique experience of each visitor. This exhibition will explore how the BMA has continued to grow, refining and redefining its holdings through generations of informed curators and supportive collectors. Realm of Marvels will address what the Brooklyn Museum of Art has been and what it aspires to be.”
The exhibition will include works from almost every major area of the Museum’s vast holdings of more than 1.5 million objects, representing nearly every culture and almost all of recorded time. The seventeen masterpieces that form the core of the exhibition were selected from thousands of works of art acquired within the past decade.
Realm of Marvels was organized by Ellen Reeder, Deputy Director for Art, in collaboration with Teresa Carbone, Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and Barry Harwood, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts. Every curatorial department as well as conservation staff members have participated in this complex project.