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$50 Million ‘Transformative’ Gift to Brooklyn Museum

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs has given the Brooklyn Museum a $50 million gift. The money will go toward a variety of gallery renovations, upgrades and infrastructure projects within and to the 120-year-old landmarked building that houses the institution.

Planned projects include creating a new gallery space devoted to the history of Brooklyn, installing energy-efficient upgrades throughout the facility and modernizing 40,000 square feet of existing galleries.

“The Brooklyn Museum is and has always been the people’s museum. For generations, our audiences have reflected the rich diversity of New York City itself,” Director Anne Pasternak said in a statement. “This transformative investment will reimagine the Museum for the next hundred years and further our commitments to connect with and serve our community. We are profoundly grateful to [New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio] and everyone in the administration for their belief in our civic and cultural importance.”

Current plans for the funds include upgrading the design of museum’s American, decorative and European arts galleries, including all-new interiors and state-of-the-art building and climate control systems. As part of this, curators will reconsider how the museum’s collection is displayed. Anticipated changes include incorporating the ability to display more artifacts and engage audiences through interactive digital displays. The upgrades will also improve the museum’s energy efficiency and reduce its climate change impact.

“The Brooklyn Museum is both a community anchor and an encyclopedic museum that does an amazing job of amplifying the voices of diverse artists from across the ages and bringing them into conversation with contemporary audiences,” Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals said in a statement. “As part of the city’s long-term commitment to investing in our cultural institutions, this transformative contribution to the Brooklyn Museum will ensure that this historic facility can continue to engage communities across Brooklyn and beyond for generations to come. The pandemic showed us just how critical culture is to the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers, so we are proud to stand alongside Mayor de Blasio for this historic announcement.”

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