Center for Feminist Art
Ennead Architects

March 26, 2007 /

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Photo © Aislinn Weidele/Polshek Partnership

A vital new venue and focal point within the Brooklyn Museum.

Located on the Brooklyn Museum's fourth floor, the new Center contains permanent and changing exhibition galleries, a study center, and presentation space to promote dialogue and exchange about the exhibition and related issues represented in the galleries.

The design creates a visually distinctive environment, symbolic of the Museum's commitment to creating a permanent home for showcasing Feminist Art.

Spatially, the plan is organized in a series of distinct, yet interconnected experiences. Movement through the Center allows for a variety of encounters with the permanent and changing exhibitions. Judy Chicago's seminal work - The Dinner Party - is the centerpiece of the overall design and is integrally related to the other spaces within the new Center.

Photo © Aislinn Weidele/Polshek Partnership

The overall design is conceived as a series of concentric layers: the perimeter walls of the 19th century building, the enveloping zone of changing exhibition galleries, and the walls and inner sanctum of the Dinner Party Gallery. This strategy serves to reconcile the scale and geometry of The Dinner Party within the structure of the Museum.

An equilateral triangle in plan, the geometry of The Dinner Party Gallery forges a vital relationship between the art and the space it occupies, which is intended to heighten the visitor's perception of the piece and to reinforce the artist's original concept.

Sketch © Polshek Partnership LLP

A dramatic sculptural threshold immediately inside the entry portal signals arrival to the new Center. Defined by the large canting walls and glass membrane of The Dinner Party Gallery, this point of arrival permits anticipatory glimpses of the piece within.

Rendering © Polshek Partnership LLP

Changing exhibition galleries flank all three sides of the central gallery. The permanent installation begins with a linear gallery space featuring The Banners, a series of seven Aubusson tapestries hung perpendicular to a vivid red wall. The Dinner Party follows, accessed through an aperture at the apex of the triangular space.

Photo © Aislinn Weidele/Polshek Partnership

Photo © Aislinn Weidele/Polshek Partnership

Photo © Aislinn Weidele/Polshek Partnership
Corner Detail

Immediately outside the Central Gallery, a flexible exhibition space presents The Heritage Panels, which summarize the research done by the artist and her team on the lives and accomplishments of the dinner guests. Directly adjacent, a changing biographical gallery highlights the individuals recognized in the piece; the sequence ends in the study center, a flexible presentation space.

Rendering © Polshek Partnership LLP

The primary entrance to the Center, located directly adjacent to the northwest, overlooks the Beaux Art Court. The sequence begins through a large portal with double glass doors and signage announcing the Center in the transom above.

Model photo: © Jock Pottle/Esto
Brooklyn Museum

Rendering © Polshek Partnership LLP
Site Plan

Facts about Center for Feminist Art

Total area:

8,500 square feet

Polshek Partnership Architects

Design Partner:

Susan T. Rodriguez FAIA

Management Partner:

Don Weinreich AIA

Project Team:

Steven Chang AIA
Harry Park
Jason Buchheit
Cheryl McQueen
Joerg Kiesow


Brooklyn Museum

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

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