They come in all sizes

Museums come in all shapes and sizes, integral parts of our society and pivotal in preserving, studying and expanding knowledge about the culture, heritage and nature of our world. And in an ethnically diverse metropolis of the magnitude of New York City, Museums come in every conceivable type: from the matchbox Mmuseumm to the jewel box Frick Collection, the Ambassador of Modernism that is the MoMA to the National Museum of the American Indian, advocate of Native American heritage, there are weird museums, pop up museums, museums of gigantic proportions like The Met; there is something for every interest, taste and even physical condition.

The Brooklyn Museum falls under the category of those Tardis-like structures that are surprisingly ”bigger on the inside”. How else can I explain the seemingly endless space when, after going through the galleries hosting the extensive Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition occupying -what we thought was- the largest part of the Museum, we found ourselves walking through corridors and galleries, monumental installations and even reconstructed period rooms, only to end up in this vast open space, its glass-tile floor reflecting the natural light coming from a skylight as large as the ceiling, enhanced by a huge chandelier?

It was only afterwards I looked it up and realised we had just visited the third largest Museum in New York City! This is the ”Beaux-Arts Court”, where the portraits of Washington A. Roebling and his wife, Emily Warren Roebling, fittingly hang side-by-side. Mr. Roebling was the chief engineer during the construction of Brooklyn Bridge, visible through the window in his portrait. When he fell ill, it was his wife who stepped in and oversaw its completion. Mrs. Roebling was the first person to cross the bridge, carrying a rooster for good luck.Portrait of Washington A. Roebling, 1899 by Théobald Chartran
Portrait of Emily Warren Roebling, 1896, by 
Charles-Émile-Auguste Carolus-Duran

Brooklyn Museum

July 22nd, 2017

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