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Brooklyn Centennial

DATES April 06, 1934 through May 06, 1934
ORGANIZING DEPARTMENT Costumes and Textiles
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  • April 6, 1934 The romance of old Brooklyn will be reflected in an exhibition now being arranged at the Brooklyn Museum in connection with the Brooklyn Centennial Celebration. The old families that have built up not only Brooklyn but the neighboring boroughs and who have contributed so much to the last hundred years of American history, will be represented by interesting keepsakes and heirlooms. Besides loans from individuals, numerous prominent institutions and churches are contributing to the show. The exhibition will have a formal opening on April 16th under the patronage of Borough President Raymond V. Ingersoll, and will open to the public on the following day, to remain on view, until June 2nd.

    Among the exhibits will be an engraving of the “Church of the Saviour; 1844”. Accompanying this print are the original plans and specifications of this church, and a letter calling Mr. Barlow to serve as minister, dated March 31, 1834. There is also a list of pew owners (January,1845) and a list of first subscribers of the Church of the Saviour. Also included among the prints is a view of the City of New York from Brooklyn Heights, October 18, 1856. This documentary print will inspire interesting comparisons with this view, then and today.

    Among the objects loaned by Packer Institute, founded in 1853, are two primers used in first classes of the Brooklyn Female Academy which was a direct predecessor of Packer Institute. These primers are paper sheets glued to other side of a wooden board and they bear the somewhat Gertrude Stein-like reading lessons as follows: "Ducks swim and geese swim. Can Charles swim? No, Charles is not a duck, nor a goose: so he must take care not to go too near the pond, lest he should fall in. I do not know that we could get him out: if we could not, he would die. When Charles is as big as James, he shall learn to swim.

    Also from Packer is a Daguerreotype of the class of 1853, the first class to graduate from this institution. The members of the class were: Isabelle G. Oakley, Harriet L. Mend, Eliza B. Garvin, Mary F. Borden, Eliza A. Borden, Anne E. Price, Caroline E. Darrow, Clarina R. Talcott, Mary Waterbury, Helen Reed and J. Elizabeth Griffith.

    The old fire engine used by the Volunteer Firemen's Association of Flatbush, l834-l850, will find itself shown for the first time in a museum of art. Ship models of the period when Brooklyn was a maritime center will be shown.

    Among the families contributing to the exhibition so far, are: The Misses Pierrepont, Miss Marion J. Terry and her family, Mrs. Frederic. K. Middlebrook, Miss M. Louise Zabriskie, Mrs. Glentworth Reeve Butler, Mrs. Otis Swan Carroll and Mrs. Henry J. Davenport.



    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1931 - 1936. 1934, 014-5.
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  • April 6, 1934 A great variety of material for the Brooklyn Centennial Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum is arriving. Objects range from a bottle bearing an embossed portrait of Gen. Taylor and the legend “General Taylor Never Surrenders", to photographs of buildings still standing that were new when Brooklyn was young. A feature of the exhibition will be a number of Mementos of Anna Cora Mowatt Brooklyn’s great contribution to the dramatic stage. There will be a photograph of Melrose Hall where she began married life at the early age of fifteen. Later she turned to the theatre and both wrote and acted in a series of great successes. The one best known to modern audiences is “Fashion” of which she was the author and star. A series of photographs of this personage in the costumes of her favorite roles will also be shown.

    There is also a deed of purchase for land dated May 5, 1971 and signed by some prominent old Brooklyn names, such as, Peter Lefferts, Isaac Cortelyou, John H. Covenhoven, Nicholas Cowenhowen, Richard Stillwell and Joseph L. Sands.
    Scores of old prints will recreated the background of old Brooklyn and the major events of a hundred years ago. There are depictions of the outstanding fires, the newest steamships, and the inauguration of now horse-drawn omnibuses, event were the contemporary talk of the town.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1931 - 1936. 1934, 017.
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  • April 6, 1934 This week Brooklyn is celebrating ancient traditions and at the same time our Borough is the center of more than the usual activities of the present.

    It is most appropriate that the Brooklyn Museum should participate in this centennial celebration. The Apprentices' Library Association, of which the Brooklyn institute was an outgrowth, had its beginnings more than a hundred years ago.

    I wish to take this occasion to congratulate the Museum upon its impressive growth. In 1898, when Brooklyn became a part of the Greater City, the attendance was less than one hundred thousand. whereas last year it was nearly nine hundred thousand. Included in the figure were 135,000 visitors from our public schools and other educational institutions. This is important as showing a close relationship to the life of this community.

    Some of the excellent features of the Museum which I have noted are its unrivaled collection of American water colors, the valuable and interesting Egyptian collection, the aboriginal art of the Americas and of the Far East.

    The present centennial Exhibition gives interesting glimpses of the Brooklyn home life of one hundred years ago, house interiors, costumes and old prints and paintings. The articles here shown have been loaned by Brooklyn families and they all have associated with them interesting stories out of Brooklyn's past.

    One look at the old fire engine will indicate how the citizens of earlier days helped to keep their budget balanced by doing their own fire fighting.

    This is a most worthy and interesting exhibition and I hope the people of Brooklyn will visit it in large numbers.


    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1931 - 1936. 1934, 018.
    View Original