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Brooklyn Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Museum

Here's what's on at the Brooklyn Museum when it reopens next month

From an exhibit on Studio 54 to KAWS, the museum has a full must-see lineup.

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Written by
Shaye Weaver
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The Brooklyn Museum opens its doors on September 12, bringing back much anticipated shows, including the Studio 54: Night Magic that was cut short due to the pandemic and a new KAWS exhibit.

On Thursday, the museum announced that it would reopen with a community day on September 9, extended hours on the weekends, and outdoor art, programs and screenings, once it opens full-time on September 12.

"We are thrilled to again open our doors to our visitors," said Anne Pasternak, the museum's Shelby White and Leon Levy director. "In a time of great uncertainty and profound isolation, I am hopeful that visitors can find comfort and inspiration at the Museum. There is a great need for compassion and healing in the world right now. Our institution has lived through many crises and persevered, and we draw strength from this history of resilience. We look forward to welcoming everyone back." 

To keep capacity down, visitors are being asked to purchase time-entry tickets online at brooklynmuseum.org and wear masks as well as social distance while at the museum. Unfortunately, the Museum Café and restaurant, The Norm, will remain closed, and all in-person tours and indoor public programs are canceled through 2020.

But on the upside, these protocols are why the museum will be able to present amazing shows and programs going forward.

This fall, expect outdoor art, programs, and screenings on the museum's public plaza and front steps, as well as more programming on its social media channels, including its Art History Happy Hour, where audiences can hear from curators, artists, and thought leaders on Facebook Live and Zoom.

Here are the shows you'll be able to catch at the Brooklyn Museum:

Studio 54: Night Magic
Through November 8, 2020 

Brooklyn Museum: Studio 54 exhibit
Photograph: Courtesy Jonathan Dorado / Brooklyn Museum

This is the first exhibition on the revolutionary aesthetics and social politics of the famous Manhattan nightclub and its influence on film, fashion and nightclub design. Through photography and media that brought Studio 54 to global fame, the exhibition contains more than 600 objects, from fashion design, drawings, paintings, film, and music to décor and extensive archives, to showcase the excitement that swirled around the nightclub.

JR: Chronicles
Through October 18, 2020

JR Chronicles Brooklyn Museum
Photograph: Courtesy JR-ART.NET / Brooklyn Musuem

The artist's first major exhibition in North America traces his career from his early documentation of graffiti artists as a teenager in Paris to his large-scale architectural installations across the world to his digitally collaged murals. The centerpiece of the exhibition is The Chronicles of New York City, a soaring multimedia mural of more than 1,000 New Yorkers and their stories.

New exhibits 

John Edmonds: A Sidelong Glance
October 23-August 8, 2021

John Edmonds Brooklyn Museum
Photograph: Courtesy of the John Edmonds and Company

This is the first solo museum exhibition of John Edmonds, the first winner of the UOVO Prize (a new annual award for an emerging artist living or working in Brooklyn), and it features about 25 new and recent portraits and still lifes of Central and West African sculptures alongside Edmonds' friends and acquaintances in New York. His photography questions and explores representation, modernity and identity in the African diaspora as well as his lavish portraits and still lifes that reimagine art traditions and puts Black queer experiences at the forefront. He highlights Black self-fashioning and community-hoodies, du-rags, and African sculptures, pointing to Edmonds's works point to individual style and a shared visual language across time.

Design: 1880 to Now
Opening October 23

Brooklyn Museum Design: 1880 to Now
Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Museum

Design: 1880 to Now showcases the museum's furniture, glass, ceramics, and metalwork dating from the late 19th century to the present day, showing competing visions of modernity and highlighting themes from the era including tension between "craft" and "industry," and innovations in production, and cultural appropriation. Also on view are new contemporary acquisitions by Robert Lugo, Masanori Umeda, and Shiro Kuramata.

KAWS: WHAT PARTY
February 12-September 5, 2021

KAWS What Party
Photograph: Courtesy KAWS / Brooklyn Museum

This is the first exhibition organized by a major New York museum devoted to the 25-year career of KAWS. The once-graffiti-artist-turned-designer has torn down traditional distinctions between high and low art, populist and elite, and art and fashion—he merges them. KAWS: WHAT PARTY explores five elements of the artist's evolving practice through more than 100 objects, including drawings, paintings, bronze sculptures, smaller objects, furniture, and monumental wooden sculptures of COMPANION, a cartoon-inspired character who navigates the emotional and psychological complexities of contemporary life. 

Lorraine O'Grady: Both/And
March 5-July 18, 2021

Lorraine O'Grady: Both/And Brooklyn Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society / Brooklyn Museum

This is the first comprehensive retrospective of one of the most significant figures in contemporary performance, conceptual and feminist art, the museum says. O'Grady has bravely presented us with artwork that questions power, structure and culture using themes of female Black subjectivity, diaspora, hybridity, art's guiding concepts and institutions (from modernism to the museum), and the intersection of self and history. You'll see nearly all of her major projects and material from her archive.

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