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Library Exhibits and Events: Past Exhibits & Events

Spring 2024



Transcending Boundaries: Con-Verse
Dena Shottenkirk's talkPOPc

When:January 25 - February 8, 2024
Where: Library Lobby Gallery

Resident Philosopher Dena Shottenkirk
When: January 29 & February 5, 12:00-2:00 pm

Resident Philosopher Alex Mendez
When: January 29 & February 5, 2:00-4:00 pm

"I am Professor Dena Shottenkirk, Philosophy Department, and I am the founder of talkPOPc: The Philosopher’s Ontological Party Club. talkPOPc is about encounters and about how we, together, build thought. I have my thoughts, in philosophy and in art, but that’s only the beginning. talkPOPc is about leaving the swirling motion of the city aside and engaging in meaningful conversations. For both art and philosophy are just conversation. But it is more than that— it is about all that lies within conversations: listening. thinking. speaking. For there is no thinking without speaking, no speaking without listening and no listening without thinking You have to listen to others, so we at talkPOPc go out into the world and ask: 'So, what do YOU think?' Once a month, sometimes in a deli, or a park, or bar, or a bodega, I, or another philosopher has a one-to-one conversation with you. That way, the city speaks to the city, the city listens to the city. The city thinks. You think. For yourself. But not alone."

Several photos of a talkPOPc tent and people interacting with the event

Fall 2023



Through My Lens: NYC In The 1970s
Photographs by Marcia Bricker Halperin

When: September 1, 2023  -  November 10, 2023
Where: Brooklyn College Library

Gallery Talk and Reception
When: Thursday, October 26, 2023, 5pm-7pm 

Marcia Bricker Halperin is a lifelong Brooklynite who has been photographing the characters and landscapes of New York City for almost 50 years. She received a Master of Fine Arts from Brooklyn College where she studied with Barney Cole, Walter Rosenblum, Lee Bontecou, Jimmy Ernst, and Lois Dodd, among others. From 1978 - 1980 Marcia was a part of the CETA Artist’s Project documentation team, a program akin to the WPA.

Her photography has been included in many group exhibitions, including the Brooklyn Museum and the International Center of Photography and in a recent solo exhibition at the Edward Hopper House Museum. After spending thirty-five years in K-12 education teaching art and photography and using her creativity in special education she has begun a deep dive into her photography archives. Her first book Kibbitz & Nosh: When We All Met at Dubrow’s Cafeteria (Cornell University Press) was published this year

Black-and-white photograph by Marcia Halperin of boys sitting on a stoop in Hell's Kitchen, 1979Black-and-white photo by Marcia Halperin showing women at a table in Dubrow's Cafeteria, 1975

Spring 2023



Magisterial Feminae

When: May 2, 2023  -  December, 2023
Where: Archives & Special Collections Exhibit Area

Opening Reception
When: Tuesday May 2, 2023, 5pm-7pm 

Drawing upon the rich resources of the Brooklyn College Archives & Special Collections, this exhibit focuses on Brooklyn College female faculty members from 1930-1980, their contributions to the study of the pre-modern world, their teaching legacies, their service to the college, and the lasting institutional structures dedicated to the study of the humanities and the premodern that they helped create – namely, the Women & Gender Studies Program, the Latin Greek Institute, the Brooklyn College Core Curriculum, and the Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities. These women overcame many obstacles as they sought to be taken seriously at time when female faculty were regularly discriminated against in the academy. Tours of the exhibit will be given during the HSS Expo and Faculty Day, and the exhibit will be on display through December 2023.

Curated by History professor Lauren Mancia and Director of the Latin/Greek Institute Lucas Rubin, with ten student researchers from the History and Classics Departments supported by the Kurz Undergraduate Research Assistanship program, and Associate Archivist Marianne LaBatto.

Exhibit poster with images of book titles

Women of Slender Means
Film Screening

When: Wednesday,  April 26 at 4 pm
Where:  Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library
Women of Slender Means follows five of the 300 women living at the YWCA Brooklyn. Told with grace and humor, their stories reveal multidimensional lives of unseen women, as well as overlooked perspectives on the history of the city itself: courageous tales of migration, gentrification, poverty, urban planning, community faith and perseverance. We meet Frances, a WWII veteran who arrived during the Great Migration, hoping to escape segregation; Ann, an activist who worked at the infamous Willowbrook School, and is a witness to gentrification; Mary, raised by nuns in an orphanage twice burned to the ground by the Ku Klux Klan; Cheryl, a Native American 82nd Airborne veteran who suffers from PTSD; and Wendy, born into privilege and a survivor of violent abuse. Women of Slender Means “isn’t a film of tragedy, hardship and injustice—it’s a film about love and compassion, and how it counters all those things.”
Women of Slender Means film poster

Walt Whitman, A Brooklyn (College) Boy

When: Wednesday,  Thursday April 20 at 4 pm
Where:  Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library

Celebrate Our Acquisition of Two Rare Editions of Leaves of Grass with a Special Collections viewing & presentation by Karen Karbiener!

Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is a book born in Brooklyn that continues to inspire the world. The poet began his literary career here, printing the first edition of his revolutionary Leaves of Grass in Brooklyn Heights in June 1855; by September, he attempted to bolster sales by announcing himself “Walt Whitman, a Brooklyn Boy” in an anonymous self-review.  Come celebrate the homecoming of Leaves of Grass at Brooklyn College Library, the recent recipient of two rare editions of America’s ‘cultural declaration of independence’: a first edition donated by Susan Jaffe Tane, and a Centennial Edition (1876) gifted by Susan Zeiger.  

Please join us for a viewing of these iconic books in the library’s Special Collections room, where two important portraits will also be on display: Charles Hine’s provocative 1860 image of Whitman in his early 40s and G. W. Waters’ 1877 portrait of the “Good Gray Poet.” At 4:15pm in the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Karen Karbiener will present the stories of the books from Whitman’s hands to their new position of honor at Brooklyn College, revealing their surprising connections to the portraits.  Your participation is welcome during the ensuing Q&A.

More information:


Walt Whitman

The Free Black Women's Library 

When: February 21  -  March 20, 2023
Where: Library Lobby Gallery

PANEL CONVERSATION: Libraries Filling Voids, Libraries Making Connections, and Libraries Fostering Collaborations: Perspectives From Three Innovators Invigorating American Culture

When: Monday, March 20, 2023 9:30-10:30am
Where: The Woody Tanger Auditorium

Library spaces and the books they offer have not always been reflective of the communities they serve. In response, libraries have begun to offer the perspectives of marginalized voices in the BIPOC and LGBTQA+ communities. This evolution has led to push back from conservatives who are legislating to silence these emerging voices. Many in the library community are resisting and insisting on serving their users and meeting their needs. Three panelists will discuss their innovative work that is changing the nature of libraries and their relation to the wider community. Our speakers include:

Ola Ronke Akinmowo – Artist, scholar and founder of The Free Black Women’s Library, a Bedford-Stuyvesant library and community space.

Rakisha Kearns-White – Brooklyn Public Library senior young adult services librarian responsible for sex education programming and menstrual literacy education.

Summer Boismier – In charge of teen initiatives at Brooklyn Public Library, formerly a high school English teacher in Oklahoma who gained national attention for promoting the BPL “Books Unbanned” for her students and for having her teaching license threatened to be revoked as a result.

Book Swap to follow!  Bring a book by a Black woman or non-binary author and exchange it for a book in The Free Black Women’s Library Installation in the Library exhibit space!

The Free Black Women's Library Logo


30th Annual Author Reception

Attention Faculty and Staff!
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, 2023  12:15 -1:45pm

Where: Kimmich Reading Room

Additional Information:


brooklyn college library and AIT logo

Places of Silence

Paintings by Asya Dodina, M.F.A '00 & Slava Polishchuk, M.F.A. '02

When: Spring 2023
Where: Library Lobby Gallery

Artists’ Statements
      Our images are a reminder of the cataclysmic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The world has faced disastrous effects of an unprecedented pandemic: loss of human lives, loneliness, lack of personal interaction, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness. During 2020/21, we were struck by the silence in the streets, abandoned buildings, and outdoor spaces. We saw familiar places from an entirely different perspective-they were silent and without people. Our ongoing project “Places of Silence” reflects our personal experience with the COVID-19 pandemic.
     Another aspect of the project is depicting the sublime beauty of landscapes surrounding us. Looking at nature brings a balance and hope as well as leads to self-reflection, understanding oneself and one’s responsibility to other people.
     The project consists of large-scale mixed media paintings on canvases and works on paper. We have chosen paper as the integral material for the series since paper is derived from nature. Its texture and brittleness reflect the amazing vitality and fragility of  nature. We applied black acrylic paint on oriental rice paper creating a palette of different hues and then attached small pieces of paper to the canvas the same way as if we would be using paint.  Dense layers, lumps of liquid mass soaked in water, monochrome colors, an endless gradation from black to white allows us to create a rich earth like surface for our landscape works.
Based in New York, Asya Dodina and Slava Polishchuk have worked in collaboration since 2003. They work in several media: drawing, mixed media painting, and printmaking. Solo exhibitions include: The Narthex Gallery, St. Peter’s Church, NY; Fox & Fowle Gallery, NY; Pace University, NY; Brooklyn College Library, NY; International Center of Arts, Remagen, Germany; Moscow International Art Salon.
     Their works are in numerous museums and galleries including: The National Arts Club, NY; Drawing Center, NY; The Trenton City Museum of Ellarslie, NJ; BAC Gallery, NY; Chelsea Art Museum, NY; S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, The University of North Carolina, Asheville, NC; Islip Art Museum, NY; Hilliard University Art Museum, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA; Kentler International Drawing Space, NY; The Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ; Ca’ Foscari Zattere Cultural Flow Zone, Venice; Stadtgalerie Alter Turn, Niederkassel, Germany.
     Asya and Slava’s works are in public and private collections including Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, NJ; The Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ; Kolodzei Foundation, NJ; Brooklyn College Library, NY; Fox & Fowle Architects, NY; Con Edison, NY; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; Russian Academy of Arts, Moscow; The Russian State Archive of Literature and Arts; Moscow Ministry of Arts; Moscow Union of Artists; Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Russia.
     Their art awards include: Stephen Bruce Award for Achievement in Unique Media, The Trenton City Museum of Ellarslie; Project Grant for Exhibition; NY State Council of the Arts; Award of Excellence; Firehouse Art Gallery; Nassau Community College; The Joan Mitchell Foundation Nominee; Jewish Artists Awards Finalist; The Ben Uri Gallery, London; Medal of Russian Academy of Arts, Moscow.

Fall 2022

Paintings by Audrey Frank Anastasi

When: September 15, 2022  to January 15, 2023
Where: Brooklyn College Library Lobby Gallery

Artist Talk
When: Thursday October 20, 2022, 1pm-2pm  
Where: Brooklyn College Library Lobby Gallery

Opening Reception
When: Thursday October 27, 2022, 5pm-7pm  
Where: Brooklyn College Library Lobby Gallery

NOTE! Non-CUNY individuals must show proof of vaccination at Campus Rd and Hillel Pl college entrance. 

Artist Statement
     Media coverage of current worldwide mass migration is constant, ubiquitous, and impersonal. The sound bites, reporting statistics alone, can numb us to the plight of the faceless, anonymous multitudes seeking refuge. So often throughout history, those throngs of people who are perceived as “other” are rejected, even reviled, for their culture, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or geographic origins. Simply put, they are people seen as too different to elicit empathy. Art can serve to remind us of this shared humanity. Here are people who seemingly, and perhaps literally, are worlds apart in their origins, but are in fact individuals just like ourselves who love and laugh, suffer and cry, mourn and face adversity, raise children and work, help others, and seek to rebuild.
      It’s heartbreaking to imagine the depth of desperation that drives a family to uproot all they know, all that is familiar—to leave friends and neighbors, dispose of all their possessions, abandon their lifelong homes—to seek a fresh life of safety, peace, and freedom. These unknown individuals are our grandmas and grandpas, our bubbies, zaides, nonnas, nonnos, abuelas, abuelos, grand-meres, papys, as well as our brothers and sisters. But for the randomness of circumstance, they are truly us: They are you and they are me.
      My artistic process starts with imagining the physical and psychological discomforts of the mass migration, of the countless strains upon individuals and their families, and then allowing the images to develop instinctively. The series has 180 small paintings, a multiple of the number 18, or “Chai,” a symbol of life. The paint is laid down upon plasticized passport photo “protectors,” approximately 5” x 7.” This base material has preprinted text referring to checklist items and documents related to travel preparations, which is ironic, as these are depictions of people who may be fleeing without proper papers, people who officially “belong” nowhere. The slick surface allows for a malleable process, with alternating application and removal of paint. Recognizable forms quickly arise from the initial loose abstraction. Images of water, heavily laden boats, swimming, struggling and drowned humans, tent cities, barbed wire fences, and multitudes of refugees emerge, propelled forward on intuition. While I paint, I am immersed in a colorless world, suggesting the starkness of a black and white newspaper, but also unquestionably wrought with a human hand.

Sponsored by the Valentine Museum of Art and Brooklyn College Library

poster for exhibit of paintings by Audrey Frank Anastasi, show painting Deep Still with image of a boat overloaded with refugees in a wide ocean



Spring 2022

29th Annual Book Party

Attention Faculty and Staff!
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 10, 2022  12:15 -2:00pm

Where: Kimmich Reading Room

Additional Information:

Poster-faculty author books poster

Stories Where We Fit:  The Art of Paula Walters Parker 

When: April 7- 29, 2022

Where: Library Lobby Gallery

Join the artist in conversation with Rosamond S. King (Brooklyn College) & Akima McPherson (University of Guyana)

When: Monday, April 28, 2022  6:30pmpm

Where: Zoom. Register for the event:

Ask a question in advance here.

Cosponsored by: Brooklyn College’s Judaic Studies Department, Africana Studies, American Studies, Art Department, Caribbean Studies, History Department, Studies in Religion Program, Women and Gender Studies Program, Women’s Center, Office of Diversity and Equity Programs, We Stand Against Hate initiative and the Brooklyn College Library

Three Artists on Brooklyn's Black Waterfront

When:Thursday March 10, 3:30-5pm

Where: Woody Tanger Auditorium, first floor of the Brooklyn College Library

An exhibit of Whit Harris's work is featured in the Library Lobby during March 2022. 

Underwater New York invites three commissioned artists to critically engage the histories and futures of the Black diaspora along Brooklyn's waterfront. Visual artist Whit Harris and writers Mateo Askaripour and Bernard Ferguson interrogate and reimagine Brooklyn's waters, from Coney Island Creek to the East River and beyond. Join UNY and the artists as they present their original work, talk about their creative processes, and launch the journal's new issue.

The event and exhibit is cosponsored by Brooklyn College’s The Center for the Study of Brooklyn and the Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities.

See the complete issue:


Spring 2021

28th Annual Book Party

Attention Faculty and Staff!
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: Wednesday, May 12, 2021  12:15 -2:00pm

Where: Zoom

Additional Information:

montage of book covers from 2021 author reception

Flatbush and the Junctions: A Pictorial Journey

Where: Online Exhibit

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. Dutch settlers acquired the land from the Lenape Indians. In 1636 Flatlands, then called new Amersfoordt (after a town in Holland), was sold to Governor Wouter Van Twiller, who divided the land among himself, Andries Hudde, Wolphet Gerritsen, and Jacobus van Corlear. In 1652, Governor Peter Stuyvesant authorized the establishment of the town of Midwout (now Flatbush). The Lenape tribe that lived in Canarsee was not pleased, and demanded payment. After some resistance, the Governor relented and the tribe was paid. One of the earliest residents of Midwout was indentured servant Jan Aertsen Van-der-bilt, great-great-great-grandfather of "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Flatlands is a quiet neighborhood today, and its outlines can be seen on the 1873 and 1890 maps, just south and east of Flatbush. The boundaries of Flatbush today vary depending on who's describing them, but it roughly begins at Parkside and Ocean Avenues at the southwest entrance of Prospect Park, includes some of Coney Island Avenue on the west, and spans east to Nostrand Avenue, while Avenue H marks part of its southern edge. The path of Flatbush Avenue follows an old Native American trail. 

The towns remainded agricultural into the 19th century. The area was rich farmland, and colonists grew vegetables and tobacco, as well as raising livestock. Jamaica Bay was a rich source of clams. 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, as seen in the photographs in this exhibit. Many of the images are 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.

Additional Information:

 Photograph of Vanderveer's Mill


Spring 2020

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

Where: Library Lobby Gallery

When: February 10-April 10, 2020

When Adolf Hitler came to power in Gernany in the 1930's and 1940's, he issues a series of anti-Semitic decrees depriving Jews of their civil rights.  With the  outbreak of WWII, many Jews chose to flee their hometowns, and a conderable number of them took refuge in Shanghai, China--a city they could travel to without a visa.  Around that same time, students from the Mir Yeshiva in Vilna, Lithuania also made their way to East Asia to escape the Nazi regime, setting up yeshivas in their new home.  Nearly half of these same students--and their families--emigrated to Brooklyn, NY following Japan's surrender in 1945.


This exhibition is made possibly by funding provided by The Charles H. Revson Foundation and Robin K. and Jay L. Lewis, Brooklyn Public Library, Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, Brooklyn College Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Brooklyn College Library.

Beatrice Siegel

Where: Online Exhibit

Acclaimed Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso had severe eye problems. At the age of nineteen, after many operations for detached retinas in both eyes, young Alicia received a prognosis that changed her life: she would never again be able to dance. In the months she lay motionless in bed, the ballerina rehearsed in her head and with her fingertips. Every day she danced with her hands, working on Giselle.

Her vision was permanently damaged, and she had to learn how to walk and see again. It was a long recovery time, but Alonso was able to go back to dancing, first as an instructor. In a turn of events, Alicia was invited to perform Giselle at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, even though she had only rehearsed that ballet in her mind.

The life of this courageous dancer is portrayed in Beatrice Siegel's book: Alicia Alonso, the Story of a Ballerina. Both the book and the writer's papers are housed in the Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections. This exhibit features research materials assembled by Beatrice Siegel while she was writing Alicia's biography.

Additional Information:

 Photograph of Alicia Alonso


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