When one thinks of New York City and art museums, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, the Metropolitan Museum of Art . However, the Brooklyn Museum, itself one of the largest art museums in the United States, is continually earning a reputation as a mecca in the world of art. The Brooklyn Museum in New York, opened in 1897, is hardly a new kid on the block, and has no trouble existing in the shadow of the Met, the Guggenheim , and the Museum of Modern Art . In fact, Brooklyn Museum is a 560,000 square foot art center known for the unmatched quality of its remarkable temporary exhibits, and is host to about a half million visitors each year. Due to the exhibits found here, it’s no wonder New York City tours of art museums frequent the Brooklyn Museum.
The complex itself is a work of art, a Beaux Arts architecture-style building located in Brooklyn ’s Prospect Park neighborhood. Once you get inside, you can appreciate that the Brooklyn Museum seeks to showcase art from all kinds or world cultures, and from all different time periods. Well known for their ancient exhibits, the Brooklyn Museum in New York is home to some truly dazzling ancient wall relief art, sculptures, and mummies. The exhibit of Ancient Egyptian art is a must-see. Also found in the Brooklyn Museum is a diverse collection of U.S. and European paintings, by the likes of Rodin, Monet, and Degas, just to name a few. The decorative arts are also prominently represented in the museum’s 28 American Period Rooms.
Aside from the exquisite works, the Brooklyn Museum is also defined by its unique knack for showing people an unpretentious good time. On the first Saturday of each month, the Brooklyn Museum is open from 11-11 (normally 11-6), with the evening hours full of films (even classic mainstream comedies), hands-on art, concerts, and capped off at times with fun outdoor dance parties. If you happen to be in the city on a first Saturday, take advantage – this is the most out-loud fun you’ll ever have at a museum. As for the other hours, the Brooklyn Museum is open from Wed-Fri from 10-5, and on weekends from 11-6.
Another draw of the Brooklyn Museum in New York is its proximity to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is located just blocks away from the Brooklyn Museum, which makes it easy to make a very artsy New York City day trip for any family, split perhaps by a picnic in Prospect Park. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is generally a great place for kids who have an interest in art, even if it means just liking to get paint under their fingernails. The “Arty Facts” program is a great way for your 4-7 year-old to take their adult companion on an exploration of hands-on artistic fun. This program is available on weekends from October-June starting at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
To get to the Brooklyn Museum, take the 2 or 3 train to the Eastern Parkwa/Brooklyn Museum stop. To get to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum from the Brooklyn Museum, head east of Eastern Parkway, then turn left onto Brooklyn Avenue. Look for 145 Brooklyn Avenue on your right, on the corner of Brooklyn and St. Mark’s Avenues.