Published: September 5, 2000
Conservation Plans Underway for Mesoamerican and Pacific Northwest Materials at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Selections from the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s important holding of Mesoamerican and Pacific Northwest materials will be de-installed for at least a year as part of a project to study, conserve, and reinstall these collections. These objects are displayed in two of four large glass-sided cases constructed in 1965.
The world famous Paracas textile will also be among the objects removed from view, while a new vibration-proof display case is designed and constructed.
Among the other pre-Columbian objects that will be de-installed are the Huastec “Life-Death Figure”; the Aztec stone jaguar; numerous gold, ceramic, jade, and stone works and featherwork from the Amazon. Affected Pacific Northwest material includes the famous Nineteenth Century Kwakiutl “Thunderbird Transformation” mask and Heiltsuk “House Posts.”
Temporarily occupying the floor space created by the demolished display cases will be a colorfully painted wooden mask from Pacific Northwest in the shape of a whale and a large-scale Mesoamerican sculpture. The two remaining cases will continue to display selections from the Museum’s holding of Southwestern Native American art and its collection of ancient Andean textiles and ceramics.
This marks another phase in the evolution of the two-story, densely pillared space on the first floor, off the museum’s Grand Lobby. It first displayed natural-history specimens, was transformed in 1925 into a street in India, and became then The Rainbow House, Gallery of Ethnology, in 1930. Today, in addition to pre-Columbian and Native American material, the Hall of the Americas also houses the museum’s important collection of the arts of the Pacific.
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