Brooklyn Institute of Arts and SciencesAlternative names
Founded 1843, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences was the umbrella organization for four major Brooklyn institutions: Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children's Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Several smaller organizations were also under its jurisdiction.
From the description of Records, 1843-1980. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122529756
The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences (BIAS) evolved from the Brooklyn Apprentices' Library Association formed in 1824. BIAS later gave rise to the following institutions: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
From the description of Records, 1889-1976. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155460232
The origins of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences extend back to 1823, with the founding of the Brooklyn Apprentices' Library. The Library, located at the corner of Cranberry and Henry Streets in the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, was established for the education and cultural enrichment of young tradesmen. In 1841, the Library relocated to the building of the Brooklyn Lyceum, an organization devoted to intellectual pursuits in the arts and sciences, at the corner of Washington and Concord Streets. In 1843, the Library and the Lyceum merged to form the Brooklyn Institute, an organization offering a variety of scientific, literary, cultural, and educational programs.
In 1890, the Institute was renamed the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences in reflection of an ambitious new initiative to expand its programming through the development of several divisions devoted to the arts and sciences. In accordance with this initiative, four new divisions were established between 1890 and 1911, including the Brooklyn Museum, devoted to the collecting of fine arts and the natural sciences; the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the world's first cultural and educational center devoted entirely to children; the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which functioned as a city park and an institution devoted to the collection and exhibition of plants and trees, as well as the dissemination of botanical knowledge; and the Biological Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor in Long Island, devoted to education and research in the biological sciences. Later in 1936, the Institute absorbed Brooklyn's premier performing arts center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), which had been founded in 1859.
To coincide with its organizational expansion, the Institute developed plans for the construction of a grand museum building on Eastern Parkway. The building, designed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, was intended to eventually serve as the center for all the Institute's programs and activities. Initial construction took place between 1895 and 1926, with the west wing being opened to the public as part of the Brooklyn Museum as early as 1897. However, the Institute's original plan for a grandiose, all-encompassing building proved to be too ambitious, and the finished building was only one-quarter the size that the Institute had originally intended. Rather than serving as a comprehensive facility for the Institute's myriad activities, the new building instead came to exclusively house the Brooklyn Museum.
In the early 1920s, the Institute transferred the Biological Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor to the Long Island Biological Association. With the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Institute was compelled to further narrow its focus. The Brooklyn Museum was refashioned exclusively as an art museum, and its scientific exhibitions were transferred to other institutions. In time, the Institute came to be primarily associated with the Brooklyn Museum, and in the ensuing decades the Institute's other divisions began operating more and more as self-sufficient organizations. In the 1970s, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and BAM all became independent entities separate from the Institute. The Institute's name was later officially changed to the Brooklyn Museum.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden. "A Brief History of BBG." Accessed January 4, 2011. http://www.bbg.org/about/history/
- Brooklyn Children's Museum. "History." Accessed January 4, 2011. http://www.brooklynkids.org/index.php/whoweare/history
- Brooklyn Museum. "About: The Museum's Building." Accessed January 4, 2011. http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/about/building.php
- Brooklyn Museum. "Initial Construction (1890s-1920s)." Accessed January 4, 2011. http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/about/initial_construction.php
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "History." Accessed January 4, 2011. http://www.cshl.edu/About-Us/History/
- Lopate, Carol. Education and Culture in Brooklyn: A History of Ten Institutions. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Brooklyn Educational & Cultural Alliance, c1979.
From the guide to the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences publications and ephemera, Bulk, 1904-1986, 1877-1998, (Brooklyn Historical Society)
The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences evolved from the Brooklyn Apprentices' Library Association formed in 1823, largely through the efforts of Augustus Graham. In 1825 the Marquis de Lafayette laid the cornerstone of a new building on Washington Street -- a memorable occasion for a young witness named Walt Whitman. The Library was renamed the Brooklyn Institute in 1843 and remained essentially the same until about 1888 when a greatly expanded program into many branches of science and art was initiated. Among the new division and departments added between 1890 and 1911 were (with year of opening):
The Brooklyn Museum (1897) The Brooklyn Children's Museum (1899) The Brooklyn Academy of Music (absorbed in 1907) Biological Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor (1907) The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (1911)
A destructive fire at the Washington Street building in 1890 marred the accomplishments of a merger with the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences (BIA&S) and reincorporation. An ambitious plan for a new building near Prospect Park was conceived in the 1890's. It was to house the Institute's library and a large museum complex. A new building to replace the original Brooklyn Academy of Music edifice which was destroyed by fire in 1903 was begun in 1907.
The parent BIA&S transferred the Biological Laboratory to the Long Island Biological Association in the early 1920's now called Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory. In the face of financial restraints brought on by the Depression, the Institute began narrowing its focus. The Museum began concentrating on the collection of art objects, and beginning about that time, the different branches became more and more independent, such as the Academy of Music, which is now independently operated.
Sources Lopate, Carol. Education and Culture in Brooklyn: a History of Ten Institutions. [Brooklyn, N.Y.]: Brooklyn Educational and Cultural Alliance, 1979. 63 p.
From the guide to the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences records, 1843-1979, (Brooklyn Historical Society)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)|
|New York (State)|
|Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)|
|Prospect Heights (New York, N.Y.)|
|Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Intellectual life|
|New York (State)--New York|
|Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)|
|Prospect Park (New York, N.Y.)|
|Performing arts--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Botany--Research--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Museums--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Education--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Gardening for children|
|Conservatories of music|
|Children's museums--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Performing arts festivals--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Sciences--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Type specimens (Natural history)|
|Botanical gardens--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Arts--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Centers for the performing arts--New York (State)--Kings County|
|Botany--New York (State)--Kings County|