The Brooklyn Museum is the second largest museum in New York City after the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This facility sits near Brooklyn's Prospect Park, and can be reached by subway from Manhattan in about 30 minutes. The Brooklyn Museum houses a collection of more than 1.5 million works of art and historical artifacts in a classic Beaux Arts building. Despite its size and its massive collection, this museum often attracts smaller crowds than those found at museums in Manhattan, making it a popular attraction with tourists.
In 1897, work was completed on the Brooklyn Museum, and the public was able to enjoy its extensive collection for the first time. Part of the appeal of this museum lies in the building itself, which was designed based on the Beaux Arts style of architecture. This design style is heavily inspired by the French Baroque, and incorporates high ceilings, statuary, and sculpture and large arched windows.
While the museum features nearly half a million square feet (46,500 square meters) of floor space, the original plans were even more staggering, and called for more a structure more than four times this size. For its first 100 years, the facility operated under the name Brooklyn Museum. On its 100th anniversary, the name was briefly changed to Brooklyn Museum of Art, but was then switched back in 2004.
The collection at the Brooklyn Museum includes many different types of art work. A 4,000 pieces Egyptian collection is a major attraction for visitors, and include unique artifacts as well as an Egyptian mummy. The museum also houses an extensive array of American art, including works by Georgia O'Keeffe and Normal Rockwell. The Brooklyn Museum is widely-recognized for its African and Asian exhibits, as well as its outdoor sculpture garden that features salvaged architectural pieces. The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art houses the museum's unique collection of feminist art work.
Visitors to the Brooklyn Museum are asked to pay a suggested donation rate that varies by age. Children under the age of 12 enjoy free admission. These fees are combined with funding from state and local governments to finance the operations of the museum and expand its collections. Visitors can also take part in art classes and arts education lectures in the facility's education center. One popular draw is the free "First Saturdays" program, during which the museum stays open late for dancing, drinks, and art appreciation during the first Saturday night of each month.