Skip Navigation

Leaders of American Impressionism: Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, John H. Twachtman, J. Alden Weir

DATES October 17, 1937 through November 28, 1937
There are currently no digitized images of this exhibition. If images are needed, contact
  • October 11, 1937 NOTE TO EDITORS: THE new installations covered by this story will be ready for press pre-view Monday, October 11th, Critics, reporters and press photographers will be especially welcome on that date. Representatives of the press who wish to see such parts of the installation as are complete during the period October 5th to 10th will be cordially welcome, but some galleries will not be ready and cannot be shown or photographed prior to the 11th.

    Brooklyn Museum Week, October 16th through 24th, featuring the completion of the remodelling of the building and the reinstallation of the collections, will be preceded by reception and pre-view for members and guests of the Museum at 9 o’clock on the evening of Friday the 15th when the most recently reinstalled collections and a number of special exhibitions will be officially opened. The museum will hold open house for the public during Brooklyn Museum Week, for every day of which special events have been scheduled.

    Newly completed features of the permanent installation are, the rearranged Charled Edwin Wilbour Gallery of Egyptian Art, the William A. Putnam Print Study Room, the Renaissance Galleries containing the Frank Lusk Babbott, Michael Friedsam and other collections, the rearranged Hall of Mexican Art, and the Galleries of the Textile Division.

    Special exhibitions now opened for the first time are the New York Historical Society Collections of Egyptian and Assyrian Art on loan at the Brooklyn Museum, Leaders of American Impressionism, Plan's and model of the Proposed New Children’s Museum, and Prints from the Museum Collection. One exhibition continuing is The Art and Technique of Ceramics.

    The remodelled and reinstalled Museum presents a dramatic pagent of the historical development of the chief cultures of America Europe and Asia. On the first floor are the collections of American Indian art and primitive cultures of Asia, Africa and the islands of the Pacific; on the second floor are the Oriental galleries displaying the arts of India, China, Japan and smaller cultures of the near and far east; also on this floor the print collection and library; on the third floor are the Galleries of ancient art now supplemented by the collections of the New York Historical Society and surveying the arts of Egypt, Assyria, pre-Hellenic, Greek and Roman peoples; also on the third floor the collection of modern sculpture; on the fourth floor, the Gallery of Medieval Art continues the historical survey and other galleries house the Textile Collection and the important series of American rooms, interior trim and furnishings of the Colonial and early republican periods from the several chief centers of early American culture; on the fifth floor are the galleries of Renaissance and Contemporary Art.

    In addition to this logical arrangement presenting the chief permanent collections of the Museum in such a way as to emphasize the pageant of history and the contributions of various cultures to the civilization of the world which is our joint heritage, the Brooklyn Museum now has numerous other facilities which contribute to the public service and scholarly use of the museum, facilitate curatorial and administrative work and place the Museum in a position of leadership in museum technique.

    Among such features added in the process of remodeling are: the driveways and parking spaces in an appropriate landscape setting; the entrance hall with five large portals and facilities for the orientation and assistance of visitors in large numbers; the education offices and loan room; the museum restaurant; and the large special exhibition galleries all on the first floor; on the second floor the public reading room and print study room; on the third floor the special Egyptian reading room of the Charles Edwin Wilbour Memorial Library; and the hall used for symphony concerts, organ recitals and dance programs; on the fourth floor special facilities for the study of textiles in the galleries in which they are exhibited to the public; on the fifth floor, the cooperative dance studio; in the basement the enlarged Brooklyn Museum Press, fireproof storerooms and curatorial and maintenance shops; on the sixth floor administrative, curatorial and business offices, the office of the restorer equipped

    with scientific apparatus for the examination and preservation of works of art and the photographic studio enlarged and equipped for museum record work and the supply of photographs and lantern slides used in educational work by the museum and supplying the public demand for reproductions for extramural use.

    The large and important collections of Egyptian and Assyrian Art lent by the New York Historical Society have been installed in galleries adjoining the Egyptian collections of the Museum and will be for the first time fully available to the public in ample space and excellent light. Important objects from the Historical Society’s Collection of American Indian Art have been installed with the Museum’s Collections.

    These objects of art were acquired over a period of one hundred thirty years. Important among them are the Henry Abbott, Egyptian antiquities purchased in 1860 and cataloged by Caroline Ransom Williams and Bernice Richardson. Most of the Society's collections were gathered in the early period of Egyptologlcal excavations when it was possible to make a selection of the finest examples of Egyptian art and before the Egyptian Government had placed restrictions on the export of ancient art. The collection therefore is one of the most important in the world. An effort has been made to provide small objects with a spacious setting. Among the out standing masterpieces are an 11th Dynasty temple relief from Her monthis, an unusually comprehensive and fine group of toilet spoons and toilet dishes, chiefly of the 18th Dynasty, the famous caricature of a mouse being served by a cat, a painting on limestone, celebrated as the ancestor of Mickey Mouse, a carved vase of the 18th Dynasty and three mummified bulls, which are possibly the most popular objects from the point of view of child visitors. The coordination of this collection with the famous Wilbour Collection and library provides outstanding opportunities for the study of Egyptian art and culture in Brooklyn.


    Paintings by Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, J. H. Twachtman, and J. Alden Weir sufficient in number to illustrate the development of the work of each artist, make visible the history of American Impressionism, an important movement in American painting, which bad its inception in the contacts of these Americans with the French Impressionists in the period 1872 to 1893 approximately. The paintings have come from major museums and private collections throughout the country and represent & cross section of the finest work available by these artists. French artists whose work was influential upon them are represented in a separate section of the exhibition, including work by Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro and Edgar Degas. The following private collectors have generously lent canvases: Mrs. Charles Burlingham, Jr., Mr. Garher Cassatt, Mrs. George Page Ely, Mr. Victor Harris, Mr. Gilberk McClintock, Mr. Albert McVitty, Mr. Richman Proskauer, Mr. Horatio S. Rubens, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Scott, Colonel Alden Twachtman, Mrs. Mahonri Young. The following museums and dealers galleries have also lent canvases: Addison Gallery of American Art, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Phillips Memorial Gallery, Whitney Museum of American Art, Yale University Gallery of Fine Arts, Durand Ruel, Inc., C. W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, Knoedler Art Galleries, Milch Galleries, and Wildenstein and Company. Some outstanding paintings which have never been shown publicly will be included in the exhibition, which reviews the accomplishments of the four artists who contributed most to the inauguration and development of modern Impressionism in America. The death of one of them, Childe Hassam, two years ago maket the present resume of that achievement especially timely.

    From Saturday, October 16th through Sunday October 24th the public will be given art opportunity to survey the complete re installation of the Brooklyn Museum Collections, the newly installed special exhibitions, and the one exhibition continued on account of its unusual interest, that of the Art and Technique of Ceramics. During Brooklyn Museum Week no admission fees will be charged and the public will be admitted to all events scheduled. The Museum Restaurant will be open to the public every day for luncheon and tea, except Sunday when the Museum opens at two P. M. instead of 10 A. M., and the Restaurant will be open for tea only. Concerts, lectures, and demonstrations will heighten the interest of the exhibitions and help to interpret them. The complete program follows:

    Saturday, October 16th:
    10:00 A. M. New exhibitions open to the public
    3:00 and 4:30 Demonstrations of Pottery Techniques, by students of Pratt Institute
    4:00 and 5:00 Motion Picture “Making of Porcelain by by Electrical Power.”
    Sunday, October 17th:
    2:15 Organ Recital by Robert Leech Bedell, Organist of the Brooklyn Museum
    3:00 Choral Concert by the Coro d’Italia. Under the direction of Maestro Sandro Benelli
    4:00 Concert by the Greenwich Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Christian Thaulow. Presented by the direction of Christian Thaulow. Presented by the Federal Music Project, U. S. Works Progress Administration

    Monday, October 18th
    3:30 Lecture: “American Impressionism and Its Sources.” by John I. H. Baur, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum

    Tuesday, October 19th:
    3:30 American Day Program. Under the auspices of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Brooklyn Junior League. Informal organ music by Robert Leech Bodell, Organist of the Brooklyn Museum.

    Wednesday, October 20th:
    2:45 — 3:00 Broadcast: "The Brooklyn Children’s Museum". By Anna Billings Gallup, Curator—in—Chief of the Brooklyn Children’ s Museum. Station WNYC.
    3:30 Concert by members of the Faculty of the Prospect Plaza Music Center. Under the direction of David LaVita.
    4:00 — 4:30 Second half of the above concert broadcast over WNYC.

    Thursday, October 21st:
    10:45 A.M. lecture: "Pueblo Indians". By William B. Newell, Authority on American Indian Art.
    3:30 "Children’s Museum of Tomorrow”. Program by children. Directed by Anna Billings Gallup, Curator—in-Chief of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

    Friday, October 22nd:
    2:45 - 3:00 Broadcast, Station WNYC..
    3:30 Demonstration of Navajo Loom Weaving, By Mofsie Family, Hopi Indians.

    Saturday, October 23rd:
    3:30 Folk Festival. Songs and dances by European Folk Groups in Costume. In cooperation with the Folk Festival Council.

    Sunday, October 24th:
    2:30 P. M. Organ Recital by Robert Leech Bedell, Organist of the Brooklyn Museum.
    4:00 Concert by the Manhattan Concert Band, under the direction of Anthony Giarnmattoo. Presented by Federal Music Project, U. S. Works Progress Administration.

    Sun. Oct. 24 Last Day of the Exhibition of the Art and Technique of Ceramics.

    The Museum has been able to create and fully equip tho William A. Putnam Memorial Print Study Room through the generosity of Mrs. Putnam. Cases in this room protect and make easily accessible the entire print collection and provide space for the anticipated growth of the collection. Spacious study tables and comfortable student library chairs of modern chromium and wood construction placed under excellent light make it possible for properly qualified students and connoisseurs to study the prints in ideal conditions, The books related to prints in the Museum Library have been transferred to this room where they are available to print students. The room opens out of the print exhibition a gallery which is open to the public and in which selection from the museum collection or loan material is on display at all times.

    A large exhibition of prints from tho Museum Collection has been placed on display in the print gallery and large adjoining balcony gallery. Included are the rare set of tho Goya Cappriccios and the early Piranesi Carceri recently purchased. A section illustrating print processes includes work by Goya, de Chirico, Brosdin, Gauguin, Degas, Picasso, Matisso, Roualt, Rodin, Rodon, Manot, Bracquemond, Delacroix and Rajon. Other sections include master print makers of the American, English, Swedish, German, Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish Schools.

    In order to coordinate the Egyptian Collections of the Broqklyn Museum with those of the New York Historical Society, which are in adjacent galleries, the chronological order of the Charles Edwin Wilbour Hall has been reversed. Approaching from the Classical Court, the visitor will begin at the Roman period of Egyptian art and proceed toward the Old Kingdom and pre-Dynastic exhibitions just outside of the Wilbour Library. From this point he will enter the old Kingdom Gallery of the New York Historical Society Collectaions. The New York Historical Sociaty’s Collections are arranged in historical order.

    In the Wilbour collection a fine group of late sculptor’s models has been installed with a deep blue background to accentuate their forms. This blue background has also been used as a setting for alabaster and other stone work. In general white has been used as a background for bronzes and dark gray for sculpture. Every effort has been made to simplify cases and installation so that attention will not be diverted. The splendid Tell-el-Amarna collection has been grouped together and the visitor can now enjoy one of the most comprehensive collections of this period in the United States. Among the outstanding objects now placed on exhibition for the first time are a bronze statue of Amon, inlaid with gold and lapis lazuli, possibly dating from the 18th Dynasty, a sunk relief of the head of a princess, retaining much of its color and dating from the Empire, a life size limestone statue of a man dating from the 4th Dynasty (about 2800 B.C.), probably the best example of Egyptian sculpture in the Brooklyn collections. The collection of sculptors trial pieces from Tell-el-Amarna, the allottment of the Egypt Exploration Society from the past two season’s diggins at Tell-el Amarna and several Pre-Dynastic carved ivories of great rarity are also outstanding examples of Egyptian Art. The Tomb of Thary has been moved to the west end of the Wilbour Gallery. New lighting fixtures have been installed and all cases redesigned.

    The Brooklyn Museum’s Collection of Renaissance Art, chiefly Italian but including excellent examples of French and Spanish work, has been installed in three redesigned galleries on the fifth floor with overheard lighting which shows the materials to excellent advantage. Here are housed the Frank Lusk Babbott Memorial Collection, the Michael Friedsam Collection, and the collections acquired by the Museum through gift and purchase over a period of years. Sculpture and furniture enhance the attractiveness of the installation and illustrate the history of art represented by a wide range of paintings carefully selected to illustrate chief renaissance schools. Among donors to the collection of Renaissance Art are Michael Friedsam, Frank Lusk Babbott, Mrs. Mary Babbott Ladd, Mrs. Lydia Babbott Stokes, Dr. Frank L. Babbott, Jr., Mrs. Helen Abbott MacDonald, Mrs. Frederic B. Pratt, Mr. William H. Horriman, Mr. William A. Putnam, Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Blum, Mr. and Mrs. A. Augustus Healy, Mr. Charles A. Schieren, Mr. George D. Pratt and Mr. Walter H. Crittenden.

    Four large galleries, newly redecorated, and overlooking the Sculpture Court, now house the Museum’s Collection of Textiles and Costumes, and the storerooms and workrooms connected with the Textile Division. The visitor first sees a group of 18th Century Costumes in a setting of furniture and wall hangings of their period. Adjacent is the entrance to the series of 18th Century period rooms. A chronological sequence of women’s costumes from the Empire Era to 1910 leads out of the 18th century section. American women’s gowns and accessories from all these decades are displayed with furniture most characteristic of the times. Beyond the 19th century costumes is a exhibit of European and American lace followed by the Museum’s large collection of Peasant Costumes from Central Europe--embroideries, hangings and various styles of garments worn by people in rural districts. Central Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean countries are all represented. Here again the textiles are displayed with furniture, metal work and other domestic arts characteristic of the countries from which the costumes come. The textile division is fully described in the July Issue of the Brooklyn Museum Quarterly,

    In a gallery adjoining the Main Entrance Hall the model of the proposed new Brooklyn Children’s Museum has been placed on display. This model has just been approved by the Municipal Art Commission, the Park Department, Bureau of Buildings, and the Trustees of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. With the model are shown plans and elevations of the new building together with objects from the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Collections which illustrate the plan, contents, and program of the new structure. Approval of the marks another step forward toward the achievement of an adequate building for the first children's museum in the world.

    The first floor will house a natural history orientation hall and other divisions for earth, plant and animal projects. Here will be a hall for the loan division, and auditorium and a lunch room. The second floor will house a culture history orientation hall, history, industry and art project halls, a library and other rooms. The basement will contain an industrial hall, special exhibition rooms, natural history habitat groups, shops and store rooms. On the roof will be a solarium and promenade playground. The structure with landscape surroundings will face Brower Park and materially enhance the beauty of this important corner.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1937 - 1939. 10-12_1937, 146-55.
    View Original