As the face of America changes and becomes more diverse, this major reinstallation of our American Art galleries attempts to take a more inclusive approach. It embraces work by women and people of color and extends the definition of America to encompass not only the United States but Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean basin, beginning with the art of the first peoples who lived in the region thousands of years before contact with European colonizers.
Works on view include a broad range of mediums, periods, and objects, from furniture and other decorative arts, to sculpture and painting, to ceremonial and functional stone, ceramic, and buckskin works. Highlights include Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (1796); Albert Bierstadt, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rosalie (1866); a Maya artist’s Figure Emerging from a Water Lily (600–900); Herter Brothers, Cabinet (circa 1872); and Red River Metis or Yanktonai Sioux artist, Dress Shirt (before 1830).
The installation is divided into sections grouped by time period and related themes that include The Americas’ First Peoples (4000 B.C.E.–1521 C.E.), From Colonies to States (including The Colonial Period in the Americas, 1660–1776, and The Early Republic, 1776–1830), Imagining the New Nation’s Landscape (1800–1880), Visions and Myths of a Nation (including Life in the Northeast, 1800–1890, and Westward Expansion, 1800–1890), Nations Divided (1860–1910), The United States on the World Stage (1865–1930), The City and the Rise of the Modern Woman (1900–1945), and Beyond Borders and Boundaries (20th and 21st Centuries).
This installation of the Brooklyn Museum’s American Art collection is organized by Connie H. Choi, Assistant Curator of American Art, with Barry R. Harwood, Curator of Decorative Arts; Nancy Rosoff, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of the Arts of the Americas; Susan Kennedy Zeller, Associate Curator of Native American Art; and Richard Aste, Curator of European Art.