Many travelers to New York may think that all the main cultural attractions lie in Manhattan, but across the East River, we’ve got our own heavy hitter, Brooklyn Museum. Its impressive permanent collections and rotating exhibitions make it one of the city’s top art institutions. Just a ten-minute subway ride from Nu Hotel, the museum makes a convenient stop along with the nearby Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.
Visitors enter through a glass pavilion constructed in 2004—a bold contrast to the original McKim, Mead & White building’s massive Beaux-Arts facade, with its large rounded steps and a pillared entrance.
Indoors, the Brooklyn Museum houses a permanent collection of nearly 1.5 million works, with an emphasis on Egyptian, Japanese, African, and Pacific antiquities, along with European works from Gothic to 20th Century and arts of the Americas from pre-Colonial through contemporary. Some of our favorite galleries are the rooms showing African masks and jewelry, which sit on the first floor next to mid-eighteenth century American paintings. The fourth floor features an array of centuries-old decorative arts like a Martins & Son pianoforte and a series of Asian art with pieces like the Seated Buddha Shakyamuni, which is a gold statue dating back to the year 965 AD.
Expect big name rotating exhibits at this hub of Brooklyn culture as well. Recent examples of stand out shows include Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, which focused on the late painter and street artist’s old sketchbooks of poetry and philosophy, and Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, which showed paintings of contemporary African Americans in European-style portraits.
To learn more about what’s showing and happening at the Brooklyn Museum, check out their website here.