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10 Iconic Exhibits At The Brooklyn Museum
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10 Iconic Exhibits At The Brooklyn Museum

Picture of Ryan Parkes
Updated: 12 December 2015
There are about eighty-museums between New York City’s five boroughs. None seem to be more in touch with the city than The Brooklyn Museum. If a tenet of Impressionism is to capture movement within art, there are many pieces and exhibitions that serve as a progeny to this sentiment. Here are 10 exhibits that capture the current spirit of the boroughs.
Perfection Rubber Company | © Ryan Parkes
Perfection Rubber Company | © Ryan Parkes

Perfection Rubber Company

Perfection Rubber Company is an example of the Industrial Revolution’s effect on fashion and urbanity. According to the Brooklyn Museum, they were made to facilitate the transition of physical pedagogy into the classroom. This eventually grew into an aesthetic and expressionistic culture within the urban milieu.

Deluxx Fluxx Arcade | © Ryan Parkes
Deluxx Fluxx Arcade | © Ryan Parkes

Deluxx Fluxx Arcade

The Brooklyn Museum’s most interactive exhibit comes in the form of the Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. What could crayons, skyline, and professional wrestling have in common? They all penetrate the public consciousness ubiquitously. When combined with consumerism, the ability to even think critically about the piece gives way to pure entertainment.

The Coffin in the Form of a Sneaker | © Ryan Parkes
The Coffin in the Form of a Sneaker | © Ryan Parkes

The Coffin in the Form of a Sneaker

If exhibitions concerning the Egyptian Empire come across as a quotidian mainstay, then Brooklyn has its contemporary counterpart. The Coffin in the Form of a Sneaker combines African tradition with what some museum aficionados would recognize from pieces such as Seine at Argenteuil. Sneaker culture has poached from street art and impressionistic modes of movement, which are captured in this particular exhibit.

Temple exhibItion | © Ryan Parkes
Temple exhibItion | © Ryan Parkes


Temple reflects the pulse of New York City through a conflation of architecture, religion, and street art. Erected by Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil in tandem with Brooklyn artist, Bast, the greater exhibit, Faile captures urban culture’s relationship with mainstream institutions. Temple hones in on the institution of religion. The atrophying structure of the Temple creates a dialogue between the relationship between urban decay and the institutions surrounding them.

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats

Energy is a theme the Brooklyn Museum brings to life in ways museums have difficulty capturing. During an appearance by hip-hop artists, Swizz Beats and Alicia Keys, haunting keys and bone penetrating bass pervaded every floor of the museum as Swizz Beats played current hits from artists, Drake, and Future. The most compelling aspect of those records is they could be heard charging out of car systems and portable radios outside of the museums.The physical walls began to give way to Brooklyn’s immediate relationship with the museum’s exhibits.

A Little Taste Outside of Love

Couched between the world of the purported scholasticism of Jean Ingres and the oft-perceived campiness of 1970’s blaxploitation films is Mickalene Thomas’s A Little Taste Outside of Love. This piece challenges a modernist conception of value within art. Thomas manages to defy notions of any one definitive truth by combining aspects from seemingly diametrically opposing spheres whilst maintaining balance.

African Boy Attendant Curio (Bananas)

Kara Walker is one known to provide kinetic art in Brooklyn’s ever changing landscape, namely through the melting exhibits in 2014’s A Subtlety. The melting pieces of art brought residents and tourist alike before the structures trickled out of existence. Her exhibit inside the Brooklyn Museum entitled African Boy Attendant Curio (Bananas) evokes similar sentiments. The imposing structure continues the mode of representations of blackness within Kara Walker’s work.

Yeezy Boost

Kanye West’s new line of sneakers, the Yeezy Boost, experienced so much commercial success, that it already warranted a spot in the museum. There’s nothing moot about his wishes to create and change the face of art and fashion in Paris and the world. This piece is a stalwart addition to the sneaker head culture that finds it’s most faithful base in New York City. This is very impressive for an exhibit that only came into retail this year.

Young girl holding a skateboard | © Ryan Parkes
Young girl holding a skateboard | © Ryan Parkes

In Fantasy Land

Within the Faile exhibition lies a piece that challenges the test of time and any notion baring claims to stillness in a transient realm. In Fantasy Land, a young girl holds onto a skateboard as she’s defending her right to an urbane sense of freedom, risk, and movement, while her structure is made from marble, a stone and method build from the strength of tradition and the perception of timelessness, challenged in Temple.

Unplanned exhibit |© Ryan Parkes
Unplanned exhibit | © Ryan Parkes

Other Unplanned Exhibits

The most captivating exhibition was the most unplanned, almost like fortuitously walking into an Alicia Keys performance of ‘New York’ amidst Monet’s best work. This was the actual museum goers who gave off a distinctly Brooklyn vibe, from the oversized blouses to the myriad of Jordan’s. It was very clear that the Brooklyn Museum existed immediately within an epicenter of art and culture in the midst of rapid change.