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Exhibits and Library Events: Home

Fall 2019

Ethiopia and the West
Highlights from the Robert L. Hess Collection

Where: Special Collections Gallery

Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has a rich history as well as one of the world's oldest literary traditions.  This exhibit explores this history and literature, taking its inspiration from the title of a book by the mid-twentieth century Ethiopian poet, playwright, and historian Käbbädä Mika'él.  In it, Käbbädä Mika'él examined Ethiopia's role in world history from the classical era through the turbulent twentieth century, paying particular attention to the complex modern relationship between Ethiopia and Europe.  The exhibit considers these themes by focusing on the Amharic and Ge'ez literary heritage of Ethiopia, the development of European orientalist scholarship devoted to Ethiopia, the struggle between Italy and Ethiopia the League of Nations (1934-35), and the Italian colonization of Ethiopia (1935-41).

Drawn primarily from the Robert L. Hess Collection on Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, the exhibit also features a painting from the Stuart Schaar Collection.  The manuscript and photographic materials in the Hess collection are contemporary records of the Italian invasion and occupation of Ethiopia.

Additional Information:

 Ethiopia and the West exhibit cover

BESA: A Code of Honor
Muslim Albanians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust

When: November 8 – December 1, 2019
Where: Lobby Gallery

This exhibition features photographs by the American photographer Norman Gershman of Muslim Albanians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Yugoslavia was a European country with a Muslim majority that succeeded where other European nations failed: almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation-those of Albanian origin and refugees alike-were saved.

The Albanian population, in an extraordinary act, refused to comply with the occupier’s orders to turn over Jews residing within the country’s borders and Jewish refugees who had arrived in Albania.

The remarkable assistance afforded the Jews was grounded in Besa, a code of honor, which still today serves as the highest ethical code in the country. Besa literally means “to keep a promise”. One who acts according to Besa is someone who keeps his word, someone to whom one can trust one’s life and that of one’s family. The aid given to Jews and non-Jews alike should be understood as a matter of national honor.

This exhibition was created by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Israel.The Brooklyn College  presentation is made possible by the American Society for Yad Vashem.

Additional Information:

American Society for Yad Vashem logo

Salsa Soul Sisters
Curated by Shawn(ta) Smith and Matthew Harrick

Where: Lobby Gallery

Salsa Soul Sisters: Honoring Lesbians of Color at the Lesbian Herstory Archives is a celebration showcasing a recent donation of Salsa Soul Sisters: Third World Women archival materials to the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA). Members Cassandra Grant, Imani Rashid, Nancy Valentine, and Brahma Curry were responsible for this generous donation made in November 2016. It includes photographs, monthly newsletters, event flyers, discussion schedules, meeting minutes, financial papers, correspondence, pamphlets, and other materials documenting years of activism. It greatly expands the existing holdings of LHA, the most comprehensive archive of lesbian materials in the world.



Meditations & Mysticism
Paintings, objects, and works on paper by Saul Lambert

When: December - January, 2019
Where: Lobby Gallery


Spring 2019

YWCA of Brooklyn

Where: Special Collections Gallery

The Young Women’s Christian Association of Brooklyn was formed in December 1887 when a group of 30 women, inspired by associations in Baltimore, Boston, and New York City, voted to establish an organization for the empowerment of young women.

The goal of these associations was to help and support women in a changing industrial world. Women needed jobs, and training in order to get them. Along with its wide variety of classes and affordable housing options, the YWCA provided a space for women and girls to meet and socialize.  After opening an African American branch in 1903, and an International Institute in 1919, Brooklyn was the first YWCA in the country to fully integrate its programs and residences, in 1943.

The items in this exhibit were from the YWCA of Brooklyn collection, which was processed by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Additional Information:

27th Annual Book Party

Attention Faculty and Staff!
Please come to the Library's Annual Book Party, honoring the College's authors who have written, co-written, edited, or co-edited a book this year.

When: Thursday, April 11, 2019   12:00 - 2:00 PM

Where: Christoph M. Kimmich Reading Room

Additional Information:

Montage Quotidien
The Photographs of Maximo Rafael Colon

When: February 7-April 8, 2019
Where: Lobby Gallery

Montage Quotidien is a five-decade overview of the pioneering photography of Máximo Colón that highlights a collection of everyday experiences and key historical moments captured by his salient camerawork. Colón’s artistic imagination as a photographer is informed by his personal history and his political consciousness shaped by his forced departure out of Puerto Rico and settling into Brooklyn, New York during the 1950s. Please visit the Library’s Gallery on the first floor to view this fascinating exhibit.




Fall 2018

A New Deal for Artists
Connecting Brooklyn College to its Past, Present & Future

When: November 2, 2018 - present
Where: Tow Center for the Performing Arts / Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to tell the story of the New Deal’s extraordinary Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the creation of the Brooklyn College Midwood campus. The exhibit also serves as a reminder of the vital role the federal government played during the Great Depression in supporting the arts by employing tens of thousands of visual artists, musicians, actors, and writers.

These beautifully restored paintings along with the campus’s other twenty-two WPA art works are important pieces of our history connecting the college’s past to its present and future. We gratefully acknowledge the Brooklyn College Class of 1964 for its generosity and commitment to the restoration and preservation of the thirteen paintings in this exhibit.

Professor Miriam Deutch Art Specialist Brooklyn College Library
Rita Fabris Adjunct Instructor, Art History Brooklyn College Art Department

Additional Information:

Flatbush and the Junction
A Pictorial Journey

Where: Special Collections Gallery

VLAACKE BOSCH ~ flat bush or woods

VLAACK LANDT ~ flat land

Flatbush and Flatlands, which were originally settled by the Dutch, were two of the six original towns that make up the modern borough of Brooklyn.  This exhibit featured several historic maps and photographs of the area from different time periods, showing the changes in the neighborhood around Brooklyn College.

Dutch settlers, who acquired the rich farmland from the Canarsee Indians, grew vegetables and tobacco, as well as raising livestock. Jamaica Bay was a rich source of clams. One of the earliest residents of Midwout was indentured servant Jan Aertsen Van-der-bilt, great-great-great-grandfather of “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt.

The towns remained agricultural into the 19th century. The coming of the railroad to Flatbush in 1878, and horsecar service to Flatlands in 1875 encouraged development in both areas. More growth occurred with the annexation of both towns into greater Brooklyn – Flatbush in 1894 and Flatlands in 1896.  Farmland became housing developments such as Vanderveer Park.

The opening of the Brooklyn College campus in fall 1937 marked yet another change for the Flatbush and Flatlands neighborhoods, which continue to evolve today. Many of the images in this exhibit were courtesy of the BRIAN MERLIS Collection/ More images of the area and the campus can be found in the Archives, along with many books about the history of this area and Brooklyn in general.

Beyond Vertieres:

A Decolonial History of the Haitians

When: November 16, 2018
Where: Lobby Gallery

A selection of painting by contemporary Haitian artists who seek to reimagine and rediscover the spirit that drove their ancestors to victory against the army of Napoleon Bonaparte




Spring 2018

Women in the Archives
History Through Her Eyes

Where: Special Collections Gallery

The spring 2018 exhibit highlighted archival collections created by or about women.   Documents and ephemera from the papers of women elected to political office including BC alums Shirley Chisholm ‘46, Susan Alter ’61, Adele Cohen ‘64, and Rhoda Jacobs ’61 were on display along with materials from Brooklyn-Queens NOW and the Brooklyn Women’s Political Caucus. Flyers from the papers of Rhoda Karpatkin ‘51 provided a glimpse into activism on campus.  Karpatkin, who led the BC branch of the Young Progressive League, was a staunch advocate of free speech and students’ rights. She organized a class walkout and was one of the Vanguard staffers who fought President Gideonse’s censorship of the student newspaper.   Also on display were some of the newly acquired items from Professor Lilia Melani’s CUNY Women’s Coalition Collection including documents related to the class action lawsuit brought by the Coalition against CUNY charging the University with sex discrimination against female faculty.

26th Annual Book Party

Attention Faculty and Staff! Please come to the Library's Annual Book Party, honoring the College's authors who have written, co-written, edited, or co-edited a book this year. 
When: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 12:00 - 2:00 PM 
Where: Christoph M. Kimmich Reading Room

Showing Truth to Power
Diane Victor

When: February 1 - March 5, 2018

Where: Lobby Gallery

South African artist Diane Victor's new exhibition "Showing Truth to Power" features Victor's latest "smoke" drawings and lithographs. 



Christopher Serrano
Heavy Minds

When: May 1- August 25, 2018
Where: Lobby Gallery


Exhibition featured the works of Christopher Serrano, a young Brooklyn artist who became an Instagram sensation (@Heavy_Minds) with his daredevil shots taken from atop—literally—the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and a high-rise in Times Square. The 25-year-old Seranno died in October 2016 while attempting a rare shot of the Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines while surfing an F train car. 




Fall 2017

Drawings by Joe LoGuirato 
New York City's Iconic Buildings and Bridges

When: Opening Reception Wednesday, October 18, 4 -6 pm
Where: Lobby Gallery

Lo Guirato's drawings reveal his continually evolving relationship between observation and invention, and his abiding interest in the grandeur and beauty of New York City's historic structures.  The artist's finely rendered drawings provide a unique interpretation of magnificent architectural details that adorn the city's landmark buildings and bridges.​

Haiti Through the Eyes of Its Artists

When: November 16, 2017 - March1, 2018

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

The art exhibition featured works by nine artists whose common tie is their homeland of Haiti.

Spring 2017

25th Annual Book Party 

Attention Faculty and Staff!  Please come to the Library's Annual Book Party, honoring the College's authors who have written, co-written, edited, or co-edited a book this year.

When: Tuesday, May 9, 2017  12:00 - 2:00 pm

Where: Christoph M Kimmich Reading Room


Additional Information:

2017 program



Respond BC

When: April 23- April 28, 2017
Where: Lobby Gallery

Respond BC exhibition  addressed personal, social, cultural, and political issues of the Brooklyn College community members.





Fall 2016

Works by Alberto Marcos Bursztyn 
Cartographic Narratives

When: November 3, 2016 - February 1, 2017

Where: Lobby Gallery

Alberto is a Brooklyn-based visual artist who works in a variety of media. His installations and assemblages explore the aesthetic possibilities and psychological meanings of reconfigured old and discarded objects. Although he holds no formal art degrees, Alberto studied and apprenticed with prominent artists including Elizabeth Murray, Patricia Cronin, Juana Valdez, Stephen Keltner, Kathleen Gilrain, Georgeen Comerford, Arthur Brooks, and others who have taught in the MFA in Visual Arts program at Brooklyn College.  His work has been included in several recent group shows; it is represented in the permanent collection of the B.U. Kashkin Museum in Ekaterinburg, Russia, and in various private collections. 

In this show, Cartographic Narratives, Alberto explores the aesthetic and story-telling qualities of paper maps, at a time when new technologies have rendered them obsolete.  While an undergraduate at Brooklyn College - a recent arrival from Argentina with limited English language skills - Alberto was drawn to majoring in geology, where he found the language of maps to be simple, elegant, and accessible. Years later he studied education (Masters) and psychology (Ph.D.), but retained affection for the aesthetic and pragmatic qualities of physical maps. 

The ubiquitous crows in this show refer to the multifaceted roles that these birds play in myths and legends. Crows and ravens are messengers of deities, creators of the world, sages, and tricksters. Their mysterious qualities often evoke the supernatural as their presence transcends ordinary experience.  In various works displayed here, the crows embody and transport maps to the realm of obsolescence and open them up to new uses beyond their intended purpose.  This show is a personal send-off, an homage to physical maps as they transcend their utilitarian origins.



Spring 2016

Photographs by Kenyan artist Tahir Kamali 

When: May - September, 2016 

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

“Value,” an exhibit that features a series of black and white portraits of Kenyan sex workers holding items of value to them. It’s the first time the images have been shown in the United States. 




24th Annual Book Party 

Attention Faculty and Staff!  Please come to the Library's Annual Book Party, honoring the College's authors who have written, co-written, edited, or co-edited a book this year. 

When: Thursday, May 5, 2016  12:00 - 2:00 pm

Where: Christoph M. Kimmich Reading Room


Additional Information:

2016 Book Party Program

Fall 2015

Ruth Gruber

When: October 1, 2015 - February 2, 2016

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

Born in Brooklyn in 1911, Ruth Gruber became the youngest PhD in the world before going on to become an international foreign correspondent and photojournalist at age 24.  With her love of adventure, fearlessness, and powerful intellect, Ruth defied tradition in an extraordinary career that has spanned more than seven decades.  The first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935, Ruth also traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1942, escorted Holocaust refugees to America in 1944, covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946, and documented the Haganah ship Exodus in 1947.  Her relationships with world leaders including Eleanor Roosevelt, President Harry Truman, and David Ben Gurion gave her unique access and insight into the modern history of the Jewish people.





Spring 2015

23rd Annual Book Party

Attention Faculty and Staff!  Please come to the Library's Annual Book Party, honoring the College's authors who have written, co-written, edited, or co-edited a book this year.

When: Tuesday, April 21, 2015  12:00 - 2:00 pm

Where: Christoph M. Kimmich Reading Room


Additional Information:


2015 Pook Party Program



Fall 2014

John J. Arruda 
Recent Paintings

When: September 18 - December 31, 2014

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery





Spring 2014

Fort Tiden and Jacob Riis Historic Parks before and after Hurricane Sandy 
A Photographic Essay by Liora Codor

When: April 26-August 31

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery




Fall 2013

A Walk Across Time 
Urban Landscape Photography by Robert Anthony DeRosa

When: October 9, 2013 - January 1, 2014

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery


Spring 2012

James Bascara 
The Violet Hour

When: January 30 - April 30, 2012

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

Artist's Statement

This work attempts to visualize emotions that are often felt but never seen.  I am concerned with the intimate and immediate relationships between people, people and environments, and internal conflicts.  Longing and detachment are recurring themes that contaminate seemingly peaceful memories.  Fragments of everyday life are taken from discarded secondhand photographs found in thrift stores and flea markets.  Moments of abstraction are introduced that compliment or conflict, and otherwise react with other elements in the work.  The manipulation and abstraction of these images combine to create an unconventional approach to narrative that is more visceral than explanatory.  Anything that is added, destroyed, or altered from this point on becomes a tangible part of the memory.

The process of manipulation stems from devices used by writers like T.S. Eliot and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  The ideas of fragmentation, appropriation, and magic realism are used to evoke emotions without explaining them outright.  My goal is to use these concepts to translate unseen feelings as accurately as possible into something visible, and to directly resonate something between the work and the viewer.  The resulting works are essentially visual distillations of intangible memories.


Spring 2011

Crossing Borders 
And Other Works on Paper by Lenny Silverberg

When: March 9 - May 6, 2011

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

​Please visit the Brooklyn College Library Gallery this spring to view the work of Lenny Silverberg, class of '62, who studied in the Brooklyn College Art Department with renowned artists Ad Reinhart, Jimmy Ernest, Burgoyne Diller, and Bob Henry.  The exhibition includes his poignant, hauntingly dignified - occasionally humorous - oil portraits and black & white ink wash drawings as well as his artwork from the book Crossing Borders (Spuyten Duyvil, 2010) done in collaboration with poet Steve Kowit, class of '64.  The art and the poems in the book address the international epidemic of refugees caused by tribal, racial, religious, and political issues.  

Fall 2010

Mining Mysteries 
Olga Sheirr's Black and White Paintings

When: September 1 - November 15, 2010

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

In her Stonehenge series Olga Sheirr, an alumna of Brooklyn College, captures the mystical qualities of the famous ruins by employing the influences of abstract expressionism.  Whether she is dealing with the solitary standing stone or the whole formation, Sheirr's strong brush strokes command the viewer's attention, producing powerful often stark images.  The ink drawings are potent evocations of the timelessness of Stonehenge.​

The Needles of the Black Hills of South Dakota are a region of fantastically eroded granite pillars, towers and spires.  Working with paint sticks, encaustics, collage and rubbings, the artist brings the grandeur of these mountains to life.  The richness and texture of these works create imposing images of the monoliths monumentality, starkness and mystery.  

Ms. Sheirr's latest works, the calligraphic forms, are a natural outgrowth of her Stonehenge and Needles series.  The artist's sweeping spontaneous ink drawings are full of strong gestural brush strokes creating an amalgam of abstractions and exciting energy.


Photographs and Paintings by Jake McDonough 
In Memory of Jake McDonough 10.8.91 - 4.14.10

When: November 29, 2010 - February 28, 2011

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery


Spring 2010

Devin Powers 

When: March 3 - April 30, 2010

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

Clotho is the name of the first of three Fates in Greek mythology. She was thought to be the Fate who spins the thread of life.


“With your whole will surrender yourself to Clotho to spin your fate into whatever web of things she will.”

–Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Sometimes I think of the network of lines in my drawings and paintings as connective webs. I think of my friends, relatives and their friends and relatives, social connections, the billions of synaptic threads connecting memory to memory and thought to thought and the myriad satellite

signals, websites, e-mails, cell phone conversations, and texts. What would it all look like if the whole of these points of connection were made visible? My work is made by hand. No computers are used in the production of my tape installations, drawings or paintings. My work is abstract. There is no meaning in the object itself. Meaning occurs when the viewer perceives the work. The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu wrote that, ‘straight forward words seem paradoxical.’ I think this is true of straightforward images as well. That is part of the power of abstraction.

–Devin Powers


Fall 2009

Rebecca Riley
Cartographic Cells 

When: September 12 - December 15, 2009

Where: Lobby Gallery

"I have come to see each mapped area I have painted as a kind of unique living organism, its growth directed, misdirected, and sometimes out of the control of its human inhabitants."  -- Rebecca Riley






Spring 2009


Katie Yamasaki

Pintando Postales 
A Visual Dialogue Between the Children of New York City and Santiago de Cuba

When: April 1 - May 15, 2009

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

Pintando Postales is a collection of paintings that reflects a written and illustrated postcard exchange between Katie Yamasaki's New York City public school students and their peers in Santiago de Cuba.  The first show, Tarjetas Postales de Nueva York, was held in 2007 in Cuba.  Hundreds of Cuban children came to the show and chose the New York City child whose words and images were most resonant to them.  This is their conversation. 

Fall 2008

Hank Blaustein 

Lifelong Brooklynite Presents New Sketchbook Diary
Lifelong Brooklynite presents new sketchbook diary

Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery

Hank Blaustein, a native and lifelong Brooklynite, born in 1937 in Crown Heights, has been drawing the world around him since he could hold a pencil. His work illustrates the people, places and things that he finds captivating; his goal is to capture their essence and personality on paper. He is, in effect, an artist-journalist who records his observations in spontaneously rendered ink, pencil and watercolor. His style is classic, immediate, straightforward and honest — without judgment.
Blaustein has won awards in group shows, among them the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, and has been on display in the Brooklyn Museum Community Gallery. He has had several one-man shows in the States, including the Gallery at Lincoln Center and A.M. Adler, in New York, and Morgan State University in Baltimore. A frequent visitor to Italy, he has shown in Urbino and Ferrara. In 2008 he was featured in Vienna in conjunction with the twinning of Brooklyn with the Viennese district of Leopoldstadt.



Instant Messages and Visions:
New Works by John Arruda

Collages by Asya Dodina and Slava Polishchuk

When: November 18, 2008 – March 1, 2009
Where: Brooklyn College Library East Gallery