Library Says It Is Publicly Funded


The Brooklyn Public Library e-mailed The Real Estate a response to our questions about the “Footprints” show on Atlantic Yards, which we blurbed earlier today. The statement doesn’t explain why the exhibit will not include six more abstract or political works, including the piece above by Donald O’Finn, that were in the original show last fall. But here goes:

As a modern library, our mission is to provide free and open access to information for all library patrons through many resources, including books, technology, educational and cultural programs and art exhibitions. BPL is a publicly funded, non-partisan institution, so we exhibit art that is relevant to the community and the times. Our exhibitions committee – which is comprised of BPL staff, Brooklyn-based gallery owners, and local artists – is charged with selecting our exhibitions, insuring that the installations are accessible to all members of our diverse communities.

It’s worth mentioning that the Grand Space show last fall was funded with a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council, which is also publicly funded.

The Real Estate does not know whether the library just has different taste than the arts council, or if it is simply more worried about seeing that public funding go down the, um, toilet.

Matthew Schuerman

UPDATE: Or maybe it’s private funding they are worried about going down the toilet? The Brooklyn Paper reported last September that the library was trying to get Bruce Ratner, developer of Atlantic Yards, to fund its new arts branch. Library Says It Is Publicly Funded