06 Feb Brooklyn Museum’s New Education Center and Art Gallery
The Brooklyn Museum opened the New Toby Devan Lewis Education Center on January 27.
Three studios offering expanded access to art-making and learning for all ages, and a dedicated gallery will host rotating family-friendly installations, kicking off with Artland: An Installation by Do Ho Suh and Children
On January 27, 2024, the Brooklyn Museum welcomed visitors to its newly renovated Education Center, named in honor of philanthropist, collector, and curator Toby Devan Lewis and her tremendous contributions to the art world. The revamped 9,500-squarefoot space will allow the Museum to better serve the more than 50,000 visitors who participate in our education programs each year, including early childhood learners, school groups, teen audiences, college graduates, older visitors, and visitors with disabilities. The reopening will also celebrate expanded and reimagined educational programming, with new offerings on weekends for families and a permanent gallery for installations by renowned artists, students, and the community.
The Education Center will serve and support engagement among visitors across age groups, as research shows that intergenerational relationships are foundational for community building and connectivity. Three studios, complete with state-of-the-art audiovisual systems and LED lighting, have been specially conceived to facilitate creative expression and collaboration. They will host regular programs and classes that highlight the Museum’s ongoing commitment to arts education and community engagement.
Adding to its all-ages appeal, the center also features a 1,300-square-foot gallery for rotating exhibitions, including artist installations with family-friendly interactive elements. The inaugural installation, Artland: An Installation by Do Ho Suh and Children, opens on January 27 in the newly named Norman M. Feinberg Gallery, introducing Brooklyn audiences to an imaginative world filled with enchanting characters and landscapes. Finally, the center’s footprint allots 4,600 square feet of offices to the Museum’s education staff, including a dedicated area for teen staff and museum guides.
“The Brooklyn Museum has a long tradition of providing arts education for diverse audiences across the borough and beyond,” says Adjoa Jones de Almeida, Deputy Director for Learning and Social Impact. “This renovation has been many years in the making. We’re so excited to offer Brooklynites and visitors from all walks of life beautiful spaces where they can connect and nurture their creative potential—where everyone is an artist.”
Arts education is the cornerstone of the Brooklyn Museum’s longstanding mission to bring people together through art and experiences that inspire celebration, compassion, courage, and the will to act. The institution has been committed to providing learning opportunities since its founding 200 years ago, becoming one of the first American museums to create a discrete Education department in 1930.
Together with numerous community partners, the Museum has developed innovative art-based programs for visitors of all ages. Iconic examples include the Studio Art Program —formerly known as the Gallery/Studio Program, with roots dating back to the Brooklyn Museum Art School founded in 1941—which offers semester-long studio art classes for ages 6 to 96. With the renovation comes a new name for this program, emphasizing our dedication to studio-based art-making. Brand-new drop-in programming on Saturdays and Sundays will give families the chance to explore our collections through close-looking and interactive activities. Additional educational offerings include guided gallery visits for school groups, intergenerational art-making workshops, camps, programs for visitors with disabilities, and early childhood classes. The Museum’s Education department also coordinates school partnerships, teen internships, the Teacher Leadership Program, and professional development courses, among other initiatives.
Stephen Yablon Architecture served as the Design Architect for this project. Samuel Anderson Architects was the Architect of Record/Construction Administration. The facade and curtain wall designs were by AYON Studio. Gilbane Building Company served as the Construction Manager.
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