Brooklyn Museum gets a major revamp

Image copyright Brooklyn Museum Image caption Pete Peterson is joining Brooklyn Museum as its ninth president and chief operating officer

One of the world’s oldest museums is getting a major revamp.

Northeast Cultural Partners, which runs the Brooklyn Museum, and Philadelphia’s Art Museum said they were teaming up.

Barack Obama’s former fundraising partner Peter Peterson is now the museum’s first president and chief operating officer.

In a statement, Mr Peterson said he wanted to establish an “agile, collaborative and connected organisation”.

These ambitions come as the institutions struggle with underfunding and headwinds – and as other museums adopt groundbreaking digital strategies to attract young and tech-savvy customers.

Image copyright Brooklyn Museum Image caption US President Barack Obama’s former fundraiser, Peter Peterson, is now the museum’s first president and chief operating officer

“After six years in operation, the museum is underutilised,” said Peter T Ward, chairman of Northeast Cultural Partners, noting that half of the museum’s collections were not on display in a permanent location.

To help fix the situation, Mr Peterson will take the lead in guiding the development of a new cultural plan for Brooklyn and restructuring the staff.

Image copyright Brooklyn Museum Image caption Patsy Agnew retired in November after 30 years at the museum

The Brooklyn Museum, founded in 1851, is located in Fort Greene, on New York’s east side.

The Philadelphia-based Eastern States Exposition originally organised the museum, and housed it at its temporary exhibition space, although the museum’s name was soon changed to the American Folk Art Museum.

Following a massive renovation during the 1960s, the museum returned to its permanent space in 1985.

During the early 1970s, Brooklyn residents began to insist that federal authorities protect its status as a national monument.

The museum re-opened to the public in 1972 as the Brooklyn Museum of Art and went on to win seven Pulitzer Prizes – including four in the work of late American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.

Image copyright Brooklyn Museum Image caption Eastern States Exposition originally organised the museum, and housed it at its temporary exhibition space, although the museum’s name was soon changed to the American Folk Art Museum

During the ’70s, as the New York downtown punk scene emerged, the museum moved to its current space – which had also been used for a Mardi Gras celebration in the early 20th century.

In the 1980s, the museum underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation and reopened to the public as the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Patsy Agnew, a former high-ranking diplomat at the US State Department, has been the Brooklyn Museum’s chief executive since 1997.

Image copyright Brooklyn Museum Image caption The museum re-opened to the public in 1972 as the Brooklyn Museum of Art and went on to win seven Pulitzer Prizes – including four in the work of late American painter Georgia O’Keeffe

While Brooklyn museum trustees tried to regain their footing in a financially troubled economy, East Coast cultural partnerships grew.

In Philadelphia, the Art Museum and the Barnes Foundation merged to create the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Image copyright The Barnes Foundation Image caption Barnes Foundation President Beverly Barnes with the Barnes Collection’s coveted artwork

Eastern States allowed the Barnes to buy the Barnes Foundation’s collection, which was put up for sale in 2013.

In 2011, the new Barnes Foundation opened in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania.

Image copyright Eastern States Exposition Image caption The vice-chair of Eastern States Exposition, John Walsh, speaks about the partnership

The former Eastern States Exposition will gradually phase out, but not close.

In Boston, Suffolk Downs, home to the largest single-site commercial thoroughbred racing operation in the United States, will be turned into a mixed-use entertainment and leisure centre.

Image copyright Boston Globe Image caption Suffolk Downs will be turned into an entertainment and leisure centre

In New York, a team of New York City and state officials are trying to save 1,000 endangered artwork in New York City’s landmark Midtown Arts Centre.

Earlier this year, he Spanish artist Rafael Bonachela took on a mammoth project to free some of the last works in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood from the clutches of the property development company slated to redevelop it.

Leave a Comment