Brooklyn Museum Publishes Catalogue of More than 100 Highlights

Collecting for the Future: A Decade of Acquisition Highlights, a fully illustrated volume, presents notable artworks acquired for the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum over the past ten years. Ranging from ancient Egyptian coins from the Ptolemaic Period to the contemporary Moroccan artist mounir fatmi’s work incorporating fifty skateboards covered with fragments of prayer rugs, more than one hundred exceptional works are reproduced in color plates with accompanying curatorial commentaries.

Agostino Brunias, Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape, ca. 1764-1796. Oil on canvas, 2010.59, Gift of Mrs. Carll H. de Silver in memory of her husband, by exchange and gift of George S. Hellman, by exchange.

The book includes a Foreword by Barbara Knowles Debs, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Museum, and Chair of the Collections Committee; a Preface by Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman; and an Introduction outlining the history of the Museum’s collection, by Chief Curator and project director Kevin Stayton. It is available for $19.95 in the newly renovated Museum Shop.

The Brooklyn Museum has one of the largest and most comprehensive art collections in the United States. After a large foundation collection was established in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the acquisition of additional works over time has continued to broaden and deepen the story told by objects acquired earlier in the institution’s history.

“I believe that to bring our vast panorama of objects successfully into the future requires us to move away more aggressively from a century of strictly compartmentalized connoisseurship, and toward the intellectual and functional goal of thinking about our collection as a vital whole. Today, our knowledge of how art history and social history interact encourages us to present the Museum’s expansive holdings from a global perspective, with permeable boundaries rather than restrictive geographical or historical borders,” comments Dr. Lehman in his Preface.

Mr. Stayton writes in his Introduction, “Scholarship changes, new collecting interests emerge, and the needs of the Museum change as new audiences and new programs of exhibitions demand new and different works of art to satisfy the requirements of changing times.” The rich diversity of the objects represented in the book exemplifies Brooklyn’s strategic approach to enlarging and enhancing its holdings.

Among the objects included in the book are a vibrantly painted ceramic vessel created by an artist from the ancient Nasca culture that flourished in Peru between 100 b.c.e. and 600 c.e.; a 17th-century crucifix by a Kongo kingdom artist; an elaborate Qing dynasty mirror stand and cosmetic chest from the late 17th or early 18th century; an early 18th-century academic history painting by Benedetto Luti, one of Rome’s most influential artists; a 1928 portrait of Paul Cadmus by Luigi Lucioni; and an opulent Baroque-style framed mirror made of black Murano glass created by the contemporary artist Fred Wilson.

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