Current & Upcoming Exhibitions 

Shifting Perspectives: Photographs of Brooklyn's Waterfront

May 19, 2017 - September 10, 2017
Located at Brooklyn Historical Society DUMBO, 55 Water St.

Shifting Perspectives

This exhibition features the work of two dozen photographers whose images crisscross the Brooklyn shoreline, from Newtown Creek to Jamaica Bay. By picturing decades of Brooklyn’s coastal scenery, including its changing industrial and postindustrial environment, the exhibition presents dramatic panoramic vistas; spectacular aerial views; glimpses of popular recreational attractions, particularly in nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park and at Coney Island; and other scenes, including those impacted by natural or manmade forces, as well as by gentrification.

Curated by guest curator Marilyn Symmes, featured photographers include: Berenice Abbott; David Attie; Rudy Burckhardt; Bruce Davidson; Morris Engel; Mitch Epstein; Lucille Fornasieri Gold; Anders Goldfarb; Stanley Greenberg; Chester Higgins, Jr.; Michael Kenna; Nathan Kensinger; Shai Kremer; Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao; John Matturri; Robin Michals; Jeffrey Milstein; Garry Pierre-Pierre; Matthew Pillsbury; Paul Raphaelson; Lynn Saville; Julienne Schaer; Harvey Stein; Todd Webb; Jackie Weisberg.

Until Everyone Has It Made: Jackie Robinson's Legacy

April 6, 2017 - June 2018

Until Everyone Has it Made: Jackie Robinson's LegacyOn April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the professional baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base. 70 years later, on April 5, 2017, Brooklyn Historical Society is proud to open a new exhibition celebrating this seminal moment in American history. Featuring a wonderful array of archival materials, photography, programs, and memorabilia, the exhibition will tell a story that continues to resonate today.

This exhibition is made possible by:
Corporate Support:
National Grid


Individual Support from Peter O'Malley

Truman Capote’s Brooklyn:
The Lost Photographs of David Attie

Truman Capote Photo by David AttieJuly 20, 2016 - Winter 2017

In the spring of 1958 a young photographer named David Attie was led through the streets of Brooklyn Heights and to the Brooklyn waterfront by an unexpected guide—33-year-old Truman Capote. The images Attie took that day were to illustrate Capote’s essay for Holiday magazine about his life in Brooklyn. Decades later, these largely unseen photographs are being exhibited for the first time.

Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom

In Pursuit of Freedom
John Halpern for Brooklyn Historical Society.
January 15, 2014 - Winter 2018

This major, long-term exhibit explores the unsung heroes of Brooklyn's anti-slavery movement -- ordinary residents, black and white -- who shaped their neighborhoods, city and nation with a revolutionary vision of freedom and equality. The exhibit is part of the groundbreaking In Pursuit of Freedom public history project that features new research on Brooklyn's abolition movement in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center and Irondale Ensemble Project.

Learn more on the exhibition website here.

Brooklyn Abolitionists Website

The Emancipation Proclamation 

Emancipation Proclamation
October 16, 2013 - Winter 2018

View a replica of Brooklyn Historical Society's rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, and examine its dramatic and polemic impact on Americans at the height of the Civil War. The exhibit suggests ways that the document's social and political meaning has evolved in the 150 years since it was signed, and invites visitors to reflect on its legacy in the twenty-first century.

Permanent Collection Installations

Chronicling Brooklyn's Landscapes

Features paintings of Brooklyn from many eras alongside a copy of Brooklyn Historical Society's rare Ratzer Plan of New York.
2nd Floor Parlor

Portraits of Prominent New Yorkers 

Includes paintings from Brooklyn Historical Society's historic collections as well as a recent artist commission by Meredith Bergman, Historia Testis Temporis: Pinky.
2nd Floor Hall and 3rd Floor Landing