High School Students Curate Exhibit on History and Culture of Brooklyn
“Inventing Brooklyn- People, Places and Progress” opens June 2 at Brooklyn Historical Society
May 18, 2011: Brooklyn, NY – Fourteen local teens curated the exhibition Inventing Brooklyn: People, Places and Progress at the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS). Inventing Brooklyn: People, Places, Progress traces the evolution of Brooklyn into the place we know today. From Native American roots and Dutch colonial influences to icons such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the Dodgers, Inventing Brooklynexamines how various people, places, and historical events have shaped the development of the borough. Drawing on archival documents, photographs, prints, artifacts, and oral histories from the Brooklyn Historical Society collection, Inventing Brooklyn takes on 400 years of Brooklyn’s history. The exhibit includes items relating to the Battle of Brooklyn, Brooklyn’s first newspapers, and Brooklyn’s diverse immigrant populations in order to capture the complexity and dynamism of the process of Inventing Brooklyn.
Inventing Brooklyn is curated by high school students from Brooklyn Technical High School, Cobble Hill School of American Studies, The Packer Collegiate Institute and Saint Ann’s School as part of the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Exhibition Laboratory (Ex Lab) after-school museum studies program. Ex Labintroduces high school students to the art of exhibition development: conducting research, selecting artifacts, writing text and working with scholars and curators to understand how to communicate ideas through an exhibition. Check out Brooklyn Tech junior Neil Alacha’s blog post about Inventing Brooklyn.
Students in the program were excited about using BHS’s collection to piece together the exhibition. “Working on the Inventing Brooklyn exhibit has allowed me to form an even deeper connection with this incredible borough. In reading through letters from Brooklyn soldiers during the Civil War and perusing newspaper articles from the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride to be a part of the iconic legacy that is Brooklyn,” says Neil Alacha, Junior at Brooklyn Technical High School.
WHO: Student curators from Brooklyn Technical High School, Cobble Hill School of American Studies, The Packer Collegiate Institute and Saint Ann’s School.
WHEN: See the exhibit and meet the student curators of Inventing Brooklyn: People, Places and Progress at the exhibit opening June 2, 2011 with a reception from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The exhibition opening is free and open to the public.
WHERE: Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St. (at Clinton St.) Brooklyn.
HIGHLIGHTS: The exhibit will include cannonballs from the Battle of Brooklyn, original copies of the Long Island Star from 1827, Civil War soldiers’ letters, and posters from Brooklyn movies such as It Happened in Brooklyn and Moonstruck.
Exhibition Laboratory is made possible through the generous funding of Martha A. & Robert S. Rubin, Con Edison, and an anonymous funder. Additional funding is provided by Astoria Federal Savings Bank, The Ferriday Fund, and The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation. Special thanks to Brooklyn Technical High School, Cobble Hill School of American Studies, The Packer Collegiate Institute and Saint Ann’s School