Playing House Now at the Brooklyn Museum

Best Of New York. Sep 13th 22

You must determine where the art in the new Brooklyn Museum display starts and where the real ends.

Four contemporary artists transformed eight of the museum's historic rooms to create "Playing House." These rooms typically provide visitors a sense of the furnishings and decor of bygone ages, illuminating how Americans from various eras, socioeconomic levels, and geographic areas lived. The 17th, 18th, and 19th-century rooms, however, have been reimagined by artists Betty Woodman, Ann Agee, Mary Lucier, and Anne Chu as intriguing mash-ups of centuries-old furnishings with modern textiles, surprising decorations, and video displays.

Of course the eye-popping overhauls are about more than just appearances. The artists' work aims to reinterpret each age and compels viewers to reconsider context, history, and social structure.

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While Agee, an installation artist, turned one of the museum's most opulent rooms into an artist's studio, Woodman set her own ceramic works on top of tables that were more than 200 years old.

A charming anachronism in a space that predates television by at least a century is Lucier's creation of videos that play on the antique furniture. Lucier is a descendent of Dutch and Huguenot settlers.

One of the biggest art museums in the country, the Brooklyn Museum , is currently hosting a number of exhibitions, including "Playing House."

The Brooklyn Museum's permanent collections span thousands of years of human history and represent nearly every culture in the world, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to works by contemporary artists.

Open from Wednesday through Sunday, the Brooklyn Museum is situated at 200 Eastern Parkway and is conveniently reachable by car, bus, or subway. Tickets are now on sale.

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