Tag Archives: “Brooklyn Museum”

Top 10 Museum Heist Movies • Now with Bonus Material, Lego Heist Film, and More!

1. How to Steal a Million (1966)

Starring: Audrey Hepburn & Peter O’Toole

Best museum heist movie of all time!

2. Topkapi (1964)

Starring: Melina Mercouri & Peter Ustinov (super handsome!)

I’ve been to the museum and seen the dagger! I didn’t steal it though.

3. The Hot Rock (1972)

Starring: Robert Redford, George Segal

I’ve been to Brooklyn Museum many times and they don’t show precious gems, but this is an amazing movie. So good!!!

4. The Thomas Crown Affair (1997)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary

Renee Russo and Pierce Brosnan in Thomas Crown Affair

Rene Russo caused a splash by appearing nude as a woman over 40 years old. She looked fantastic. This shouldn’t be a surprise, nor should it have been “scandalous.”

5. The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

Starring: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway

Hot. Hot. Hot!  (Hot.)

6. The Score (2001)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando (!)

7. Entrapment (1999)Starring: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ving Rhames

8. F is for Fake (1973)

Starring: Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, Joseph Cotten

Watch the WHOLE thing on YouTube!!! Orson Welles!!!

9. Conformist (1970) — Musee D’Orsay when it was a train station

10.  DaVinci Code (2006)

Starring: Hanksy Panksy

I guess you’ve got to include it. Not utterly horrible.

11. Once a Thief (1965) Not sure if there’s really a museum in this. Gotta watch it. Looks great.

Bonus Material!!! Online Clips and mini movies, etc.

Lego Heist Museum Heist Mini Movie

There’s actually an old Doctor Who episode at the Louvre!

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 12.09.56 PM

Other movies which feature museums prominently:
L.A. Story with Steve Martin (LACMA) HIGHLY Recommended.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Art Institute of Chicago) Duh. Awesome.
Woody Allen, multiple films (Mostly at the Met I think.) Can someone list ’em in comments? I’ll mail you a prize!

Twitter Following vs. Visitorship for 50 NYC Museums – A Museum Nerd Infographic

Font size corresponds to the ratio of twitter followers to museum visitors. Museums are listed in order of fewest to most visitors. (Click to expand.) Special thanks to my friends at the Official Museum Directory.

Brooklyn Museum Visitorship on the Rise Where it Counts: Some New York Times Readers Are Missing the Point

Who's welcome at the Brooklyn Museum?

The attempts of Brooklyn Museum of Art (BMA) to court more than just a White, middle- and upper-class, over-40, audience have resulted in a visitorship that more closely reflects Brooklyn’s demographics. (At the time of the 2000 census, Brooklyn was only about 40% White/Caucasian.) The focus of the recent New York Times article, “Brooklyn Museum’s Populism Hasn’t Lured Crowds,” (and several of its readers’ publicly expressed opinions on twitter) suggests that Brooklyn Museum mounted “populist” (or in one blogger’s confounding and contradictory interpretation, “false” populist) exhibits to increase overall visitor numbers, and that this was a failure. In fact the article provides enough information for discerning readers to draw a variety of nuanced conclusions. The problem is mostly in the broad suggestion of its headline paired with the assumption that “luring crowds” is or should be BMA’s goal.

Many studies have shown that the large majority of art museum visitors are college-educated, white people. Many minorities, non-whites, and working class people (regardless of race), feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in museums. This is an atrocity. Working to change this takes time. Brooklyn Museum and many other museums are making strides to do so. (Some people on twitter caught on to this.) BMA’s programming is quite diverse and has not become a mere dumbed-down series of amusements. Healing the Wounds of War: The Brooklyn Sanitary Fair of 1864 is a current example of an exhibit that is of a purely scholarly and educational nature. The recent James Tissot: “The Life of Christ” was an amazing scholarly exhibit of one of the museum’s collection highlights which was barely covered in the press. Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video was a starred exhibit in New Yorker magazine for the length of its seven-month run. It was exactly the kind of exhibit detractors are saying is being replaced by Star Wars and Hip-Hop exhibits whose focus may not be scholarly in an art-historical context. In fact these exhibits peacefully CO-EXIST and attract a broader variety of visitors for doing so.

Anyone who has been to a “First Saturday” at Brooklyn Museum knows that it is the most diverse recurring party in New York City, not just in terms of race, but also of age, cultural background, and socio-economic background. The other thing that the press seems to overlook is that these visitors look at the art! I have been to many First Saturdays. I remember the long lines to see the Basquiat exhibit (2005) and the Murakami show (2008), but I also have had many experiences of wandering through the permanent collection galleries and other temporary exhibitions and seeing all kinds of people looking at art on a First Saturday!

Inside the Brooklyn Museum looking out (at Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue).

I suspect that the real reason for a decrease in numbers has more to do with major cutbacks in funding during the economic downturn. The museum’s staff was cut and this almost always results in a decline in programming and promotion which in turn brings about a decline in visitorship. Though the Times article states, “Last year, the museum cut its staff by 20 through layoffs and buyouts,” it does not make this tie—a connection which is obvious to anyone who works inside a museum in similar circumstances.

One major problem with the current funding structure for museums is that government funders and foundations place a disproportionate amount of weight on increasing the numbers. This is the very thing that pressures museums to mount exhibits conceived to bring in large numbers in the first place. Articles which reinforce this thinking are not helping the cause and do not encourage museums to better serve their constituencies.