I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t entirely know what the Brooklyn Museum was until I visited. (Yes, yes, I knew it was a museum.) Brooklyn history? Modern art? Who knew?
So here’s your answer: it’s an art museum in the vein of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a sizeable collection of antiquities — meaning it’s as much about history and culture as it is about art per se. (My favorite kind of art museum!) It also feels cozier than the Met, though it’s still enormous (according to Wikipedia, about 500,000 square feet to the Met’s 2 million).
In the time I spent there, I didn’t come close to being able to take in everything the museum has on display (and I skipped the current special exhibition, on Georgia O’Keeffe). I enjoyed, far more than I was expecting, the exhibit on the first floor called “Infinite Blue,” which was — you guessed it — a collection of (partly) blue things.
The Egyptian galleries of the museum had a small special exhibit called “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” as well as a wide-ranging permanent selection of artifacts — including several mummies and displays about the process of mummification, which was both fascinating and uncomfortable. The exhibit tried to acknowledge the problems inherent to displaying human remains, but the fact remaining that it was displaying human remains.
One of my favorite things about the museum wasn’t an exhibit at all, but an app! Ask Brooklyn Museum allows you to open a live chat with museum experts and ask them your questions. (Only while you’re on the museum grounds.) I used it several times, though I was frustrated that the functionality to upload a photograph wasn’t working.
I wanted to identify this writing system, but wasn’t able to share the photo through the app. (Answer, if anyone was wondering: Cuneiform.) Hopefully, just a temporary blip.
Other good thing to know: like the Met, the Brooklyn Museum’s stated admission price is “suggested”: you don’t have to pay the full amount to enter. (Ticketed exhibits are the exception.) And, entry is free the first Saturday of every month, from 5 PM to 11 PM.
This was my first visit to the Brooklyn Museum, but it certainly won’t be my last — or my last post about going there!
Location: 200 Eastern Parkway, corner of Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue
Nearest Public Transit: 2/3 at Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum; 2/3/4/5 and S at Franklin Av; 2/3 at Grand Army Plaza; B/Q and S at Prospect Park.
Cost: Suggested Admission $16 adults; $10 students and seniors; ages 19 and under free. Free 5 PM – 11 PM first Saturday of every month.