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This week at BGC, learn about Brooks Brothers’ connection to slavery, the lives of diaspora Jews during the Roman Empire, curating an online exhibition of Navajo textiles, and art created by people with disabilities during the pandemic.

Jonathan Michael Square will present his research on Brooks Brothers’ connections to slavery. Brooks Brothers was founded in 1818 and, in the first few decades of its operation, provided merchandise to elite gentlemen as well as livery for their domestics. Some of those domestics were enslaved people. In this talk, Square will use two Brooks Brothers coats worn by enslaved men as a point of departure to explore the history of this “heritage” brand.

Materiality and Politics: How Integrated were Diaspora Jews in the Roman Empire? Lecture 2
Tuesday, May 11
6 pm

In the course of three lectures, Seth Schwartz will challenge the rosy picture of stable and successful Jewish corporate life under Rome through skeptically minimalistic analysis of Asian Jewish materiality and the ways in which it has been deployed in modern historiography. He will also try to account for what in the final analysis were divergent Jewish experiences in different Roman provincial settings. Join us for the second lecture, Politics: Jews, Asian Cities, and the Roman State.

Curators on Curating: “A Map is Not the Territory”: Unsettling the Curatorial Voice in Shaped by The Loom
Thursday, May 13
12 pm
Pay What You Wish*

Join curator Hadley Jensen and her guests to learn about the dynamic opportunities and unique challenges of curating for a digital platform. Their discussion will provide a window into the curatorial process that underpins BGC’s upcoming online exhibition, Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest, the first virtual exhibition to showcase the American Museum of Natural History’s collection of Indigenous textiles from the greater American Southwest, set to launch in spring 2022.

Disability Cultures, Creativity, and Consciousness: Art in the Time of a Pandemic
Saturday, May 15
2 pm
Pay What You Wish*

Disabled culture is actually a multiplicity of cultures that encompass a broad range of identities and talents. Discover the many ways in which disabled people have showcased their artistry and reflected their cultures during the pandemic. Join us for a live conversation led by Dr. Therí A. Pickens.

Next Week:

Beyond Sustainability: Cultural Organizing for Social Justice
Monday, May 17
6 pm
Pay What You Wish*

Chinatown Art Brigade curated and will moderate this discussion about how cultural collectives have developed new pathways for grassroots organizing, mutual aid, and creative activism, all while celebrating community resilience and resistance.

Construction of the Female Identity in WW I France: Fashion and its Repercussions
Wednesday, May 19
2 pm
Pay What You Wish*

In this virtual tour of BGC’s 2019 exhibition, French Fashion, Women, and the First World War, fashion will be the lens through which you learn about the war’s impact on women’s changing identities across all social strata. You will examine how clothing, caricatures, and period photographs have been employed to reflect and critique wartime reality.

Library Artists in Residence Exhibition Virtual Opening
Thursday, May 20
6 pm
Pay What You Wish*

Join us to virtually explore library installations created by BGC’s current Library Artists in Residence (AiR), Harley Ngai Grieco and Jennifer Tobias. These “pop-up exhibitions” and their accompanying catalogues are the culmination of a year of research and exploration in the BGC Library. Learn about the artists’ creative processes and how they worked with the BGC Library collection and staff to achieve their visions.

A Hat for Every Head: A Children’s Workshop
Sunday, May 23
Central Park West 85th Street Entrance
11 am
Pay What You Wish*

How do you like to accessorize? What do your hats say about who you are or what you like to do? Join us as we investigate ideas of identity and decoration through interactive activities designed for kids 8–11 and their caregivers. Inspired by the hats French women wore during World War I, build your own hat that communicates something about you during this outdoor art-making workshop in Central Park!

*Any donation of $1 or more gratefully accepted!