The Brooklyn Museum, is one of the largest and oldest art institutions in the country. Its original purpose was to educate young tradesmen. Walt Whitman was one of its first librarians. Eventually, however, the museum became a beloved and revered cultural institution in New York City. In 1890, the institute’s leaders decided to create a new building devoted to the arts and natural sciences.
In 1893, architects McKim, Mead & White designed a new building for the housing of educational resources and artifacts. They called this institution the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. They designed it with the intention of it being the largest museum structure in the world. Since the museum was so large, the architects wanted other institutions, such as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, to be divisions within the institute. These, however, became their own separate entities over time.
Eventually the focus shifted completely to the maintenance of the museum portion of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. Since then, the museum has seen numerous alterations and developments. Recently, curators have begun to redesign the museum exhibitions and galleries to make them more accessible to the public. They added more open spaces and vibrant colors in many of the galleries.
Since its creation, the Brooklyn Museum has pioneered the establishment of several institutions within its own institute. The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, for example, is one of those institutions. The Center is the first of its kind and its mission is to portray feminist art and explore its meaning. Another institution, the Luce Center for American Art, houses 1,200 objects available for public view.
In addition to its massive centers, the Brooklyn Museum also is home to traditional exhibitions and art galleries. Both hold impressive and iconic works of art and history. The Brooklyn Museum is a pillar of intellectual advancement and does not disappoint.