April 1, 1969
After many months of being off public view, The Brooklyn Museum’s galleries of Chinese and Oceanic art will re-open on April 1. The collections have been placed in more spacious quarters, with many new objects and additional educational material incorporated into the installations.
The Chinese collection ranges in time from the Shang Period (ca. 1500 B.C.) to the present, and comprises bronzes, jades, ceramics, stone sculpture, painting, and cloisonne. Of special importance is the ceramic section which contains, among other works, a remarkable Phoenix-headed ewer of the 10th century, and a large “Kuan” type jar from the Yuan Dynasty. The permanent collection has been supplemented by a number of major pieces on loan to the Museum, including a group of paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries from a Taiwanese private collection which have never before been seen in this country.
The installation of the Chinese Gallery was made possible by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in connection with a special exhibition of chessmen and boards which it loaned to The Brooklyn Museum last year. The objects are arranged by material, so that visitors can trace the development of a particular art form or technique, with the help of new labels which present background information.
Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Australia are represented in the Oceanic Gallery. The Museum’s holdings in this area are outstanding since Brooklyn began collecting primitive art before most other museums. The purpose of the new installation is to present objects in a dual light: as works of arts to be enjoyed for their beauty and fine craftsmanship, and as cultural artifacts. New labels are intended to give a clearer idea of the social and religious context within which these strange and compelling sculptures, masks, and weapons were created. The Museum has been fortunate to make many fine additions to the collection in recent years.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1953 - 1970. 1969, 002. View Original