"Small Wonders from the American Collections" Exhibition

Brooklyn Museum

poster for "Small Wonders from the American Collections" Exhibition
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Permanent event

This special exhibition celebrates a major new installation in the Luce Center for American Art: Visible Storage ▪ Study Center that gives the public access to more than 350 additional objects from the Museum’s collections. Since its opening in January 2005, the Luce Visible Storage ▪ Study Center has housed approximately 2,100 objects in two types of storage units: vitrined cases and paintings screens. The facility also contains forty-two drawers for storage. Beginning in mid-October and in stages over subsequent months, they will be filled with works from the Museum’s renowned American holdings and opened to the public. Once the drawers are full, the number of objects on view in visible storage will rise to 2,500—an increase of almost 20 percent.

The drawers’ contents will encompass a variety of objects from the Americas—including art of the United States as well as of the indigenous and colonial peoples of North and South America—and dating from the pre-Columbian period to the present day. Although the works range widely in terms of medium, date, function, and geographical origin, they do share a diminutive scale and suitability for flat storage. Among the objects that will be installed in the drawers are: American and Hopi ceramic tiles; Mexican pottery stamps; jewelry and other ornaments from Native and South American cultures; Modernist jewelry; silverplated flatware and serving pieces; Spanish Colonial devotional objects; American portrait and mourning miniatures; commemorative medals; and embroidery. As in other sections of the Luce Visible Storage ▪ Study Center, objects in the drawers are densely installed to maximize the available space and are grouped by type, medium, or culture. Visitors can learn more about the works by using one of the nearby computer kiosks in the facility, or by accessing the Luce database online. To obtain a list of a drawer’s entire contents, use the Map feature and select numbers 41 through 47.

Held in conjunction with the drawers installation, Small Wonders from the American Collections features an eclectic selection of seventy works of art on the walls and in the display cases above the drawers. This exhibition both highlights objects that will be installed in the drawers and reveals a diversity of cultural traditions and artistic practices that constitute American art. A variety of jewelry and objects of personal adornment—although produced by different peoples—function similarly to signify information about the wearer’s identity. Flatware, pins, and other silver items on display reflect a broad array of forms, styles, and uses for this valuable metal. Ceramic tiles made contemporaneously by Native and non-Native Americans provide an interesting cross-cultural comparison with respect to the decoration and marketing of these wares.

[Image: Unknown Artist "Fan" (1822–31) Ivory sticks and painted paper mount. ]



Permanent event


Suggested Contributions: Adults $10, Seniors and Students $6, Members and Children under 12 and First Saturday of the month 5pm to 11pm Free

Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:00
thursdays closing at 22:00,
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays
Note:First Saturday of the month 11am to 11pm


Address: 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Phone: 718-638-5000 Fax: 718-501-6136

Subway: 2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum

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