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SCI-FI MURAL PREDICTS BLEAK FUTURE FOR BOROUGH

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In 1855, the Brooklyn Museum officially established its collection of American art by commissioning a work by painter Asher B. Durand. That work, "The First Harvest in the Wilderness" (1855), still hangs prominently today in the "American Identities" collection, and shows a farm carved out of a bucolic wilderness. A shaft of light from the sky seems to hint that this is fate, destiny or divine intervention - progress, if you will.

The Brooklyn Museum’s latest commission, an enormous painting by Alexis Rockman, doesn’t have a similarly upbeat message about man’s tangling with nature.

In "Manifest Destiny" (above) Brooklyn’s DUMBO and other nearby neighborhoods have been submerged under water (as a result of global warming), and instead of hipsters coming in and out of the DUMBO General Store with their lattes, there are all kinds of amphibians scooching in and around the abandoned structures - like the Brooklyn Bridge - left behind by those long-gone bipeds.

On Saturday, April 17, at 6 pm, Rockman will discuss his mural with Marc Mayer, the museum’s deputy director for art.

As part of its celebration of its new front entrance, the Brooklyn Museum is offering two full days of activities as well as two new exhibits: "Open House: Working in Brooklyn" (see review) and "Patrick Kelly: A Retrospect­ive." On Sunday, April 18, at 2 pm, guest curator Thelma Golden will discuss the Patrick Kelly exhibit, which she orchestrated.

In addition, the museum is offering dozens more lectures, live music and dance performances, craft workshops for children, films and much more on Saturday and Sunday.


Admission is free on April 17, from 11 am to 11 pm, and on April 18, from 11 am to 6 pm. The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights. For more information, log onto www.brooklynmuseum.org or call (718) 638-5000.
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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