The Brooklyn Museum is getting a $50 million cash infusion thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who announced the unprecedented capital investment that represents the largest in the institution’s history on Nov. 22.
“We are the ultimate city of arts and culture, it’s who we are,” de Blasio said at the Brooklyn Museum on Nov. 22. “This place is not just a museum, it’s not just a place with a storied history, it’s a living, breathing hope for Brooklyn, and for the world — and so we have to support it.”
The historic investment will allow museum honchos to modernize the facilities of the 120-year-old Eastern Parkway building, create a gallery dedicated to the history of Brooklyn, renovate the outdated fourth and fifth floor galleries, upgrade antiquated climate control systems, and renovate education facilities, among other initiatives.
The director of the museum said a modernization is long overdue for the building, as the museum strives to meet larger audiences.
“This building, more than 120 years old, needs to rise up and meet the needs of the present and the future,” Anne Pasternak said on Nov. 22. While our programming blazes trails for the 21st century our building is mired in the 19th century, and it’s long time for change.”
The Brooklyn Museum has made efforts in recent years to attract more people through special exhibitions with more mass appeal, which have included an exhibit on Sneakers and sneaker culture, Coney Island, the modern artist Kaws, and Andy Warhol.
According to Pasternak, the museum has doubled its audience and amount of students served, and is the fourth most Instagrammed museum in the United States.
The museum on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights is one of the largest and most historic museums in the United States with a history tracing back to 1825 when the Brooklyn Apprentices Library was merged into the Brooklyn Institute, which displayed artworks and hosted lectures.
Today, the museum plays host to a significant collection of Egyptian artifacts and a notable anthology of American art.
Current exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum include the institution’s Andy Warhol showcase, their Christian Dior design display, and their world-renowned series on the climate impacts on the Indigenous people of the Americas.