visiting Exhibits

Free Portrait Project: Crown Heights

opens September 25

The Free Portrait Project: Crown Heights, created by Rusty Zimmerman, creates a portrait of a place through its people. Zimmerman's oil-painted portraits of 200 Crown Heights residents acts as a physical record of the neighborhood amid shifting demographics. The project upends a tradition of portraiture reserved for a wealthy few by giving these paintings to people from all walks of life.

Participants applied and were nominated to receive Zimmerman's four-hour live portraits, which will be on display at Brooklyn Children's Museum from September 25 to October 23. In partnership with the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Weeksville Heritage Center, Zimmerman recorded oral histories during each session, which will also be available for listening during his exhibition. 

Rusty Zimmerman (American, b.1979) is a portrait painter raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and the Bay Area of California. He is the Founder and Artist of the Free Portrait Project, and the portrait and poster artist to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Zimmerman lives and works in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Permanent Exhibits

Totally Tots

This pint-sized paradise is designed for our youngest visitors, featuring nine different sensory play areas including water, sand, music, and more. Exclusively for children ages zero to 5.

Collections Central

Collections Central features a rotating selection from the museum’s collection of 29,000 historic and artistic works. Exhibit interactives invite visitors to learn by taking on the roles of curator and conservator. Multi-sensory engagement with collections arranged around classic and unexpected themes inspires visitors to discover, create, and collect.

Neighborhood Nature

Examine the many ecologies found in your own Brooklyn backyard. This exhibit introduces children to life sciences, and features live animals from the Museum’s living collection. 

World Brooklyn

In World Brooklyn, children play in mini shops based on the real ones you would find in neighborhoods across Brooklyn. This exhibit is designed to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of world cultures found in Brooklyn. Through objects and stories drawn from real people and places in the borough’s diverse communities, children learn about themselves and their neighbors.