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A group dances at an edition of Teen Nights at the Brooklyn Museum, free community programming that’s grounded in art and activism and created by and for teens. (Photo: Cristobal Guerra)

Three Teens’ Guides to the Brooklyn Museum

Discover standout moments in the Museum in this highlights reel written by teens in our Museum Apprentice Program and Creative Practice paid internships.

Teens are an integral part of Brooklyn Museum life. Along with a host of teen programs, including our popular Teen Nights, the Museum offers several paid teen internships. In the Museum Apprentice Program, for example, New York City teens immerse themselves in art and art history, and learn about museum education while creating their own lessons for audiences of all ages. The Creative Practice internship also focuses on art education by having teens help instruct art-making classes that emphasize the connection between art and social justice. 

Below, Museum Apprentice Aiden Martin and Creative Practice Teen Staff Fatou Diallo and Breana Eastman share insights, hidden gems, and favorite artworks from their time at BkM.


Along the Way, Contemporary Art

Aiden Martin: For me, a museum is a place where I can be calm and collected. Often, if I have had a rough day or a lot on my mind, I go to a museum to look at the art and just clear my head—it brings a sort of inner peace. The environment is so unique, too; you can have the most meaningful conversations with people at a museum. When I first visited the Brooklyn Museum, I was in shock about the beautiful architecture outside, and then my jaw dropped when I saw the KAWS statue in the lobby. 

3rd Floor

Book of the Dead of the Goldworker of Amun, Sobekmose, Egyptian Art

Aiden Martin: The entire Egyptian gallery at the Brooklyn Museum is one of my favorites. I loved reading Rick Riodran’s books focused on the Kemetic religion, including the Kane Chronicles. I remember reading the books and wanting to see hieroglyphics in person, so to see this actual document just meant a lot to me. This piece stuck out to me because of how different it is compared to other things that you see or hear. It also really showed me more about the Kemetic religion by expanding my knowledge on how they treat their lost ones. 

Mancala Game Board, Arts of Africa

Breana Eastman: The oldest known mancala board is around 8,000 years old and was found in a Neolithic dwelling in Jordan. The most recent one is about 30 seconds old and can be found in my iMessage history. I find that the more time I spend walking around Arts of Africa (and the Egyptian Galleries in general), the less disparate I find myself and people of the past. I’m constantly reminded that people of the past are just people. You see their makeup, their games, their portraits, the way they treat their dead, and can be so overwhelmed by just how similar they are to you. I hope more people (especially young people) can walk around and feel less disconnected to the people of the past. 

4th Floor

Period Rooms, Decorative Arts and Design

Fatou Diallo: The Period Rooms remind me of home. This part of the Museum smells like wood, which reminds me of floors in my house, and also like oils, bringing me back to the smell of incense from my old house. It has a very homey feel to it, and the rooms pull you in by allowing you to take about a step or two into the room (at most). The rooms ignite all five senses; they make you feel as if you’ve come over for tea in a different era. (Editor’s note: The Period Rooms reopen to the public in June 2024!)

5th Floor 

A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rosalie, American Art

Aiden Martin: This art piece is just so peaceful for me to look at . . . the ultra-realist style makes me feel transported to the scene and it brings me to a state of peace. I love to go here and just sit and stare at the picture. I also hold this picture very near and dear to my heart because my best friend and I took pictures here that ended up in a lot of TikToks on inspirations for date nights. Originally we took them because we had gotten these matching shirts with our names on the back, and the lighting around the picture and the bench just made it the perfect spot. 

Aiden Martin and his best friend Anna in front of A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rosalie. (Photos: courtesy of Aiden Martin)

Other teen tips

Breana Eastman: Best place to take a selfie: ANY REFLECTIVE SURFACE. The bathroom has cool mirrors, but so does so much furniture that’s on display. 

Fatou Diallo: I love to listen to music at the Brooklyn Museum. The music already playing in the lobby is a great reflection of the Museum itself: full of culture and engaging. I never walk in with headphones because I like to reintroduce myself to the Museum by hearing the lobby music when I first enter. 

Stay tuned for updates to this guide and more insights from teens about how they enjoy the Brooklyn Museum. 


Fatou Diallo, Breana Eastman, and Aiden Martin are Teen Staff at the Brooklyn Museum.