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Displaying items by tag: Brooklyn Museum

Thirty-five out of forty-four senior art students were left without their sketchbooks, canvases, brushes, books, and completed works after a fire broke out at Pratt Institute in New York City on February 15, 2013. The fire, which ignited in Pratt’s historic Main Building due to faulty electrical wiring, also destroyed much of the structure’s roof and the studios that painting students are given in their final year.

In an effort to ease the students’ crushing loss, art dealer Larry Gagosian has partnered with Pratt to present a special drawing and painting exhibition. Gagosian was especially moved by Pratt’s fire as he almost lost a sizable chunk of his own collection after a fire broke out at his home in the Hamptons in 2011.

Flameproof will feature 100 works by Pratt’s 44 senior drawing and painting students and will be curated by Eugenie Tsai, the John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition is focused on the students’ collective experience at Pratt and was largely facilitated by the Pratt recovery effort, which provided students with donated supplies and gift cards from the school’s administration and local art stores.

Flameproof will be held at the Seagram Building on Park Avenue from May 9-14, 2013.

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The Brooklyn Museum, which holds a celebrated decorative arts collection, is currently presenting a selection of rarely seen American and European quilts. In fact, only one of the 30-plus quilts on display has been on public view in the past 30 years.

The exhibition titled Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts aims to explore the impact of feminist scholarship on the ways in which historical quilts have been and are currently viewed, contextualized, and interpreted. The exhibition goes beyond the connection of quilting to feminism and explores the medium of quilting as an art form and as an aspect of material culture with meaningful social and political undertones.

The quilts on view at the Brooklyn Museum span two centuries and feature iconic designs and techniques including the log cabin style, the Amish sunshine and shadow style, and crazy quilts, which were fashionable during the late 19th century. A quilt by Mary A. Stinson that is considered one of finest examples of a crazy quilt is included in Workt by Hand.

Workt by Hand aims to shed light on the skill, craftsmanship, thought, and energy that went into quilting; something that was frequently overlooked in a male-dominated society. The exhibition, which is on view through September 15, 2013, includes photographs, newspaper clippings, sample pieces of quilts, and other ephemera relating to the history of quilts.

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New York’s Brooklyn Museum and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts are joining forces to present a landmark exhibition of John Singer Sargent’s watercolors (1856-1925). The exhibition, aptly titled John Singer Sargent Watercolors, will bring together 93 works acquired by both museums during the early 20th century. The Brooklyn Museum’s 38 watercolors were largely purchased form Sargent’s 1909 debut exhibition in New York and The MFA’s works were acquired from a New York Gallery in 1912.

The institutions have been working together on a year-long study of Sargent’s watercolors, which he painted fervently. During his long career, Sargent created over 2,000 watercolors depicting everything from the English countryside to Venetian scenes as well as paintings of the Middle East, Montana, Maine, Florida, and the American west. Sargent painted a number of watercolor portraits of Bedouins and fishermen from the Middle East as well as the native people of the American west. A section of the exhibition will be devoted to the findings from the museums’ extensive study; the analysis revealed new insights into Sargent’s drawing techniques, paper preparation, and use of pigments.

John Singer Sargent Watercolors will go on view at the Brooklyn Museum on April 5, 2013 where it will remain until July 28, 2013. The exhibition will then travel to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts where it will stay from October 13, 2013 until January 20, 2014. The show will make a final appearance at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2014.

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Fine Lines: American Drawings from the Brooklyn Museum is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. The exhibition presents over 100 drawings and sketchbooks from the museum’s collection, many of which have rarely been seen.

Fine Lines features works created between 1768 and 1945 and includes drawings by more than 70 artists such as John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), Stuart Davis (1892-1964), Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), William Glackens (1870-1938), Marsden Hartley (1877-1943), Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Eastman Johnson (1824-1906), Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), and John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).

Fine Lines is organized into six categories and draws connections between artists from varying periods and artistic styles. Topics explored in the six sections are portraiture; the nude; the clothed figure; narrative subjects; natural landscapes; urban landscapes; and conservation techniques.

Fine Lines will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum through May 26, 2013.

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Wednesday, 16 January 2013 14:33

Brooklyn Museum Burdened by Problematic Gifts

In 1932, Colonel Michael Friedsam, president of the New York City-based department store, B. Altman, bequeathed a huge portion of his estate to the Brooklyn Museum. It recently came to light that nearly a quarter of the 926 gifted works were fakes, misattributions or lacking in terms of quality. The Brooklyn Museum must now come up with a plan for the 229 pieces it no longer wants, which range from Dutch and Renaissance paintings to Chinese porcelains, jewelry, and furniture.

The museum is unable to sell the works for even the smallest profit because Colonel Friedsman’s will contains a clause stating that the museum must gain permission from the estate’s executor before deaccessioning works. Unfortunately, the last executor of Friedsman’s estate passed away in 1962. The Brooklyn Museum is currently working with the New York State attorney general’s office to maneuver around the clause. However, another clause in Friedsman’s will is proving problematic as it states that if the collection is broken up, the works should go to his brother-in-law and two friends. The museum has not yet started looking for the descendants of these three individuals as they are still working with the attorney general’s office to decide how to proceed.

The unwanted works are becoming more difficult to deal with, as the Brooklyn Museum is short on storage space. If the institution is unable to relieve itself of some of these works, they will be forced to rent additional storage spaces, which could cost the museum hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

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The art community has always been a breeding ground for collaboration and camaraderie amongst artists. The Brooklyn Museum harnessed that cooperative spirit to mount the exhibition Go: a community-curated open studio project, which is now on view through February 24, 2013.

Brooklyn, home to the most artists in the United States, was an ideal place to launch the initiative, which is aimed at fostering exchange between artists, their communities, and the Brooklyn Museum. In September, over 1,700 artists opened their studios to the community, drawing more than 18,000 visitors who ultimately served as curators. Community member nominated ten artists and museum curators whittled that number down to five to be featured in the exhibition.

Organized by the Brooklyn Museum’s Managing Curator of Exhibitions, Sharon Matt Atkins, and Chief of Technology, Shelley Bernstein, GO features the work of Adrian Coleman, Oliver Jeffers, Naomi Safran-Hon, Gabrielle Watson, and Yeon Ji Yoo. Officials drew inspiration from the well-known programs ArtPrize, a publicly juried art competition, which takes place each year in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and open studio weekends, which are a staple in the Brooklyn community.

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Four works by contemporary heavyweights Fred Tomaselli, Takashi Murakami, Mickalene Thomas, and Gilbert & George will be offered by Christie’s to benefit the artistic activities of the Brooklyn Museum. Profits from the sale, which will be held during the Post-War and Contemporary auction on November 15, will go towards the preservation and presentation of the museum’s collection, exhibitions, and a variety of public programs. The four works were made especially for the auction.

The sale marks the beginning of BKLYN: A Celebration of the Brooklyn Museum, a multi-year collaboration between Christie’s and the museum that will include additional sales benefitting the institution. Housed in a 560,000-square-foot Beaux-Arts building, the Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest institutions in the country. Its permanent collection features everything from ancient Egyptian pieces to contemporary art.

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Best known for his paintings of stark diner scenes, snapshots of city life, and quiet portraits of the American landscape, there is much more to Edward Hopper’s (1882–1967) oeuvre than one might think. Referred to as a romantic, a realist, a symbolist, and even a formalist, the exhibition, Paintings by Edward Hopper (1882–1967) currently on view at the Grand Palais, Galeries Nationales in Paris aims to explore each facet of Hopper’s artistic identity.

Divided chronologically into two main parts, the first section of the exhibition covers Hopper’s early work from 1900 to 1924. During this time Hopper studied at the New York School of Art under Robert Henri, the founder of the Ashcan School of realism. Hopper also spent nearly a year in Paris in 1906, followed by shorter stays in 1909 and 1910.

The first part of the exhibition sets out to compare Hopper’s early work to that of his contemporaries as well as to the art he saw while in Paris. While in Europe, Hopper was influenced by such things as Degas’ original angles to Vermeer’s use of light. He was also moved by the soft, harmonious nature of Impressionism, which is reflected in his work from the time. This work is in sharp contrast to the almost gritty realism Hopper favored back in the United States.

1924 marked a turning point in Hopper’s career. After successful exhibitions of his watercolors of neo-Victorian houses in Gloucester, Massachusetts at the Brooklyn Museum and the Franck Rehn’s Gallery (New York), Hopper enjoyed commercial success and was able to fully devote his life to his art. Hopper’s watercolors mark the second section of the Grand Palais exhibition and feature the iconic paintings most people associate with the artist.

Curated by Didier Ottinger, assistant director of the MNAM – Center Pompidou, the exhibition of Hopper’s work will be on view through January 28, 2013.

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Contemporary art is occupying hallowed halls this season: Andy Warhol at the Met, Matthew Barney at the Morgan Library.

And Conceptualism, which 40 years ago proposed trashing museums altogether, is now assuming old master status in them. It’s even getting a historical survey in “Materializing ‘Six Years’: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art,” a show that opens at the Brooklyn Museum on Friday and provides the back story for a surprising number of other shows, mostly of new art, coming in the months ahead.

Not that the Brooklyn exhibition has blockbuster potential; if anything, the opposite is true. It’s a compendium of archival odds and ends: postcards, snapshots, arcane pronouncements. And it’s based on a 40-year-old scrapbook of a book with an interminable art-speak title, of which “Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972: A Cross-Reference Book of Information on Some Esthetic Boundaries” is just the first quarter. Compiled by Ms. Lippard, a pioneering feminist writer and curator, and published in 1973, the book remains a founding document of a hugely influential kind of art that emerged from an era of social upheaval and that spurred far-reaching changes in thinking about what art could be — meaning, among other things, unheroic, non-Western, female, ephemeral.

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The Brooklyn Museum has canceled plans to mount a controversial exhibition of graffiti art, citing financial constraints. The show, “Art in the Streets,” is currently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, where it has drawn large crowds but has also attracted criticism for prompting an increase in graffiti in the surrounding neighborhood.

Among the critics was Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who published an article in City Journal this spring, titled “Radical Graffiti Chic,” in which she accused the Los Angeles museum of glorifying vandalism.

Her article alerted The Daily News that the show was headed to Brooklyn in 2012, and in late April, it ran a sharply critical editorial, writing that art “mavens will be sticking their thumbs in the eyes of every bodega owner and restaurant manager who struggles to keep his or her property graffiti-free.”

On May 5, shortly after the editorial ran, Peter F. Vallone Jr., a member of the City Council, wrote to the director of the Brooklyn Museum, Arnold L. Lehman, urging him not to do the exhibition. “Let me be very clear, taxpayer money should NOT be used to encourage the destruction of our taxpayers’ property,” Mr. Vallone wrote, noting that the museum receives about $9 million annually from the city.

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