A Brief History of The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Part II


During the sixth year of educational work under the new constitution 979 new members were enrolled. The total number of members was increased from 2,622 to 3,457. The total number of lectures, conferences, class exercises and Department meetings was increased from 1,879 to 2,212. The Department of Domestic Science was organized with a membership of forty-two. The annual
income was increased from $31,641.51 in 1892-1893 to $40,169.35. The average daily attendance on the exercises of the Institute was 1,177. The Mayor and Park Commissioner leased to the Institute eleven and nine-tenths acres of land for a period of one hundred years, at one dollar per year, as a site for the Museum Building. The Legislature of the State of New York authorized the
expenditure of $50,000 in grading the Institute Park lands, including the Museum site. The Department of Parks of the City of Brooklyn leased to the Institute at a nominal rental the Bedford Park Building for temporary museum purposes. The Departments of Geography, Zoology, Botany, Geology, Mineralogy and Chemistry arranged their collections in the Bedford Park Building for public exhibition. The State Legislature increased the rate of interest on the Museum of Art and Science Bonds to not exceeding four per cent, to enable the city to sell the bonds and to erect the first section of the Museum Building.


During the seventh year of work under the new constitution, the growth in the annual income and in the attendance on the meetings of the Institute was in a measure checked by the general financial depression under which the country suffered, and also by the serious interruption of public travel caused by the strikes on the surface railways of the city. The number of members,
however, was increased from 3,457 to 3,764. The total number of lectures, conferences, class exercises and Department meetings was 2,621 as against 2,212 in the previous year. The Department of Law was organized with a membership of 123. The Department of Entomology was reorganized with an increased membership.

The annual receipts increased from $40,169.35 to $44,756.13. The Temporary Museum Building in Bedford Park was opened to the public on Thursday and Saturday afternoons. A fund of $1,500 was raised to aid Professor WILLIAM H. GOODYEAR in making a series of surveys and photographs of Mediaeval Architecture in Italy. The site of the Brooklyn Museum of Arts and Sciences was surveyed and the elevation of the base line of the building fixed at 175 feet above sea level. The working plans and specifications for the northern portions of the Museum were completed and the Museum Commission of the city advertised for contracts for the erection of the northwest section of the Museum Building.


The year 1895-1896 was one of the most eventful in the history of the Institute. The site for the Museum Building was graded during the months of September and October. The contract for the erection of the northwest section of the Museum Building was given by the Mayor and Park Commissioner on September 1 to Messrs. P.J. CARLIN & CO. for $254,675 Ground was broken with
appropriate ceremonies by the Hon. FRANK SQUIRE, Park Commissioner, for the foundation of the building, on September 14. The cornerstone of the structure was laid by Mayor CHARLES A. SCHIEREN on December 14, in the presence of a large gathering of citizens, and the construction was carried to the third floor of the building. The educational work was characterized by an increase in the attendance from 215,150 to 268,580. The number of lectures, class exercises and other educational gatherings was increased from 2,621 to 3,069. The net increase in the membership was from 3,764 to 4,168. The Department of Music gave a series of Philharmonic Concerts in conjunction with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Society by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The receipts applicable to the payment of running expenses were increased from $44,756.13 to $66,199.73. The Endowment Fund received from the estate of the late JOSEPH T. PERKINS the sum of $10,000. The Institute became the owner of a majority of the stock of the Brooklyn Art Association. The Herbarium and Botanical Collections of the late Reverend CHARLES H. HALL,D.D., LL.D., were presented to the Department of Botany by Mrs. HALL in accordance with the request of Dr. Hall; and the State Legislature authorized the continuance of work on the Museum Building at an expense not exceeding $600,000. Accompanying this growth the Institute suffered losses by the death of an unusually large number of valuable members. The Reverend CHARLES H. HALL,D.D., LL.D., for seven years President of the Associate Members and six years a member of the Board of Trustees, died on September 12, 1895. General JOHN B. WOODWARD, a member of the Board of Trustees for twenty-seven years, Secretary of the Board of Trustees for four years and President of the Board of Trustees from 1888 to 1895 in elusive, died on March 5, 1896. JOHN D. JONES, the founder of the Biological Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor and a generous contributor to its resources, died September 20, 1895, and JOSEPH T. PERKINS, a Patron of the Institute, died on July 12, 1895.


The year 1896-1897 witnessed an increase in the membership from 4,168 to 4,704, in the attendance from 268,580 to 302,426, in the number of lectures, conferences, concerts, readings and class exercises from 3,069 to 3,416, and in receipts from $66,199.73 to $67,983.85. The State Legislature passed a law providing $10,000 for the care and maintenance of the Museum Building during the year 1897; included in the Charter of Greater New York were provisions for the continuance of all laws affecting the Institute unimpaired, and for the care and maintenance of the Museum Building and its contents, an annual appropriation by the City of New York of a sum not less than $20,000; and authorized the establishment of a Botanic Garden and Arboretum on the Park Lands south of the Museum site as a proper approach to the Museum Building. The first section of the Museum Building was completed on May 14, 1897. A very valuable loan collection of paintings and other works of art, comprising some six hundred titles, was placed in the galleries on the first and third floors during the latter part of May, and the entire Museum was thrown open to the public on Wednesday, June 2, to remain open daily for the benefit of all.


During the tenth season, after the reorganization of the Institute effected in 1887-1888, the Museum Building was equipped with engines, dynamos, electric ventilating fan, electric elevator, electric lights, natural history cases, furniture and fixtures, making the entire cost of the building and equipment $335,500. The Museum Building was dedicated with appropriate exercises on October 2. The Loan Collection of Paintings and other works of Art installed in May was kept on exhibition until November 1. A second loan collection of paintings was installed in November, numbering 421 canvases, and this collection, together with the paintings belonging to the Institute, continued on exhibition in the galleries on the third floor of the Museum. Portions of the Scientific Collections of the Institute in Mineralogy, Geology, Zoology, Botany, Entomology, Geography and Ethnology were transferred from the Bedford Park building to the new Museum and installed in the galleries of the basement and second floors. Loan collections in Mineralogy, Paleontology, Entomology, Archaeology and Ethnology were placed on exhibition from time to time in the galleries of the basement and second floors. Very valuable works of art were presented by A. AUGUSTUS HEALY, JAMES A. H. BELL, ABRAHAM ABRAHAM, JOSEPH JEFFERSON, E. K. AUSTIN, FREDERICK J. ADLER, C. F. BROOKS, SAMUEL P. AVERY, Mrs. SAMUEL BOWNE DURYEA,
Colonel ROBERT B. WOODWARD, PETER LAUCKHARDT, the REMBRANDT CLUB and the estate of the late JOHN H. PRENTICE. Eighty-five selected casts from Greek and Roman Sculptures were presented by Members and friends of the Institute and installed in the Hall of Greek Sculpture on the first floor of the Museum. FRANK S. JONES presented the Institute with $3,500 with which to purchase the GEBHARD GEOLOGICAL COLLECTION, representing the Paleontology of the State of New York. Subscriptions were made amounting to $3,000 by HENRY H. BENEDICT, JAMES H. BATES, FRANK SHERMAN BENSON, Mrs. ARTHUR W. BENSON, Miss MARY BENSON, Hon. WILLIAM B. DAVENPORT, Hon. CHARLES A. SCHIEREN, Hon. TIMOTHY L. WOODRUFF, CHARLES B. HEWITT, HENRY K. DYER, MARTIN JOOST AND ALVAN R. JOHNSON, with which to purchase the WILLIAM WALLACE TOOKER COLLECTION of Indian Relics of Long Island and the Collection was purchased and installed in the Museum. JAMES A. H. BELL presented collections of paintings, sculptures and other works of art, a library of music, and collections in mineralogy and conchology. Very valuable additions were made to the Collections in Ornithology by A. B. LOUNSBERRY, ROBERT W. PEAVEY, Mrs. A. M. MATHESON, Mrs. N. L. TERRELL and others; to the Collections in Mineralogy by ALEXANDER M. WHITE, FRANKLIN W. HOOPER, GEORGE L. ENGLISH, JOHN W. FRECKELTON, JAMES WALKER, Miss J. HUSSON and others; to the Herbarium by JOHN COOPER, M.D., Luc1us BELL and NATHANIEL L. BRITTON, Ph.D. ; to the Archaeological Collection a series of Egyptian jars by Mrs. MARY L. BEERS.

The Library received additions numbering 1,048 volumes and many pamphlets. Fourteen shares of stock in the Brooklyn Art Association were presented in exchange for Life Membership Certificates in the Institute. Four courses of lectures were given in the Eastern District of Brooklyn. The Membership was increased from 4,704 to 5,417. The attendance on lectures, classes, concerts, readings and meetings of departments was 334,670. The registered attendance at the new Museum Building was 126,046. The total attendance for the year reached 460,716. The annual income grew from $67,983.85 to $99,058.20. The City of Brooklyn appropriated $10,000 to meet the expense of the care and maintenance of the Museum during the period, June 1 to December 31, 1897. The City of New York set apart $20,000 for the care and maintenance of the Museum during the year 1898 and the Department of Parks of the City of New York graded portions of the Museum grounds lying south of the Museum Building.


During the educational year 1898-1899 the membership was increased from 5,417 to 5,975; the number of lectures open to all members on the presentation of the weekly membership ticket, from 544 to 572; the total number of meetings and class exercises, from 3,558 to 3,806; the attendance on lectures, concerts, dramatic readings and class exercises, from 334,670 to 360,980. The attendance at the Museum Building was 92,736, and the total attendance for the year 453,716. The annual income of the Institute, applicable to the payment of current expenditures, was increased from $99,058.20 to $119,965.12. FRANK S. JONES, Member of the Board of Trustees, presented to the Institute $10,000 to be used in the purchase of the BERTHOLD NEUMOEGEN COLLECTION OF LEPIDOPTERA, numbering some 40,000 specimens. EDWARD L. GRAEF, Curator of Entomology, presented to the Institute his entire Collection in Lepidoptera, numbering some 15,000 specimens. A. AUGUSTUS HEALY, President of the Board of Trustees, presented a colored Majolica Lunette by GIOVANNI BELLA ROBBIA, entitled "The Resurrection of Christ." .WILLIAM T. EVANS presented a Portrait of WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT by the late WYATT EATON. A large number of donations was made to the scientific and art collections, descriptions of which appear in the eleventh Year Book (1898-1899), under the respective Departments to which the gifts naturally belong. To the scientific collections were added, by purchase thirty compound microscopes and two microtomes for the Department of Microscopy, at an expense of $1,124.50;  apparatus for the Department of Physics at an expense of $520; apparatus for the Department of Archaeology costing $560; apparatus for the Department of Geography and Geology costing $960.  On the recommendation of the Council of the Institute the Trustees determined to establish a CHILDREN'S MUSEUM in the Bedford Park Building. Apparatus and collections for the equipment of this Museum were ordered at an expense of $2,600. The SCHOOL OF PEDAGOGY was established with five classes and an enrollment of 522 students. Application was made by the Board of Trustees to the authorities of the City of New York for the issuing of bonds as authorized by law for
the continuation of the work of construction on the Museum Building. This application was approved by the Department of Buildings, Lighting and Supplies, and was laid before the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the City of New York in June, 1899.


During this year the membership was increased from 5,975 to 6,391 ; the total number of lectures, class exercises, concerts, readings and Department meetings from 3,806 to 4,057 ; the attendance, exclusive of the Museums, from 360,980 to 390,225 ; the attendance at the Central Museum from 92,736 to 101,261; the attendance at the Children's Museum was 28,261, and the total attendance for the year was increased from 453,716 to 519,747. The annual income available for carrying on the educational work was increased from $119,965.12 to $147,096.65. The Endowment Fund was increased by $15,000, received from the estate of the late JOSEPH C. HOAGLAND, for ten years a Member of the Board of Trustees. This year was also distinguished by the organization of the Department of Philosophy; by the establishment and opening (on December 16, 1899) of the Children's Museum, and by the development of the Museum work. Professor WILLIAM H. GOODYEAR, M.A., was appointed on full time as Curator of Fine Arts ; Professor R. ELLSWORTH CALL, M.D., Ph.D., as Curator of the Children's Museum ; GEORGE K. CHERRIE, as Curator of Ornithology; ALFRED G. MAYER, D.Sc., as Curator of Natural Science; ABEL J.GROUT, Ph.D., as Curator of Botany; Professor JOHN S.McKAY, as Curator of the Collections in the Physical Sciences; Miss SUSAN A. HUTCHINSON, as Librarian of the Department of Libraries, and Miss MIRIAM S. DRAPER, as Librarian of the Children's Museum Library. The Scientific and Art Collections received many additions, described under the several Departments in the twelfth Year Book (1899-1900). Notable among these are a portrait of General JOHN B. WOODWARD, painted by FEDOR ENCKE, Presented by Colonel ROBERT B. WOODWARD; a landscape entitled "On the Plains of Hungary," painted by OTTO DE THOREN and presented by JOHN B. LADD; a marble bust, entitled "The Madonna," WILLIAM ORDWAY PARTRIDGE, sculpture, presented by GEORGE FOSTER PEABODY, and a landscape by GEORGE H. BOGERT, presented by GEORGE A. HEARN. During this year the Institute purchased from JAMES J. TISSOT, of Paris, his
collection of 461 paintings and drawings, illustrating the Life of Christ, for the sum of $60,000, and raised by subscription $53,000 towards the purchase price. Also during this year the city government authorized the issue of the corporate stock of the city to the amount of $300,000, the proceeds of the sale of which funds were made available for the erection of the masonry, brick and iron work of the second section of the Museum Building. The contract for the work was let in May for $296,000, and ground was broken on June 6 with appropriate exercises.

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: A Brief History of The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Part II
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Twenty-fifth Year Book of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences; Published by the Institute: Brooklyn 1913
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