The World's Greatest Nightclub at the Brooklyn Museum

Studio 54: Night Magic traces the radiant history, social politics, and trailblazing aesthetics of the most iconic nightclub of all time.

The World's Greatest Nightclub at the Brooklyn Museum

Park Slope

Studio 54: Night Magic, opening at the Brooklyn Mueseum in 2020, traces the radiant history, social politics, and trailblazing aesthetics of the most iconic nightclub of all time. Behind the velvet rope, partygoers of all backgrounds and lifestyles could come together for nights of music, dazzling lights, and the popular song and dance “The Hustle.”

Following the Vietnam War, and amid the nationwide Civil Rights Movement and fights for LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, a nearly bankrupted New York City hungered for social and creative transformation as well as a sense of joyous celebration after years of protest and upheaval. Low rents attracted a diversity of artists, fashion designers, writers, and musicians, catalyzing the invention of new art forms, including musical genres such as punk, hip-hop, and disco. In a rare societal shift, people from different sexual, sociopolitical, and financial strata intermingled freely in the after-hours nightclubs of New York City. No place exemplified this more than Studio 54.

Organized chronologically, Studio 54: Night Magic uses photography, fashion, drawing, and film, as well as never-before-exhibited costume illustrations, set proposals, and designs, to place the nightclub within the wider history of New York, from Prohibition through the 1970s. Blueprints and architecture models illustrate the club’s innovative development and creation, while documentation of extravagant theme parties traces its thirty-three month run. The exhibition continues through the years after the nightclub’s closure, showing the ongoing influence of Studio 54 aesthetics.

The exhibit opens March 13, 2020, and runs through July 5, 2020. Advance tickets are on sale now through Showclix. Timed tickets are for a specific date and time. Untimed tickets are for use at any time on a specific date. Same-day, on-site tickets are timed and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are timed in order to help control traffic flow in the exhibition and include general admission to the Museum. The time on your ticket is the time you should be at the exhibition entrance on the fifth floor. If you are late for your ticketed time, entry will be permitted at the discretion of staff.

Guy Marineau (French, born 1947). Pat Cleveland on the dance floor during Halston's disco bash at Studio 54, 1977.
Photo: Guy Marineau / WWD / Shutterstock)

 

About Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Its roots extend back to 1823 and the founding of the Brooklyn Apprentices’ Library to educate young tradesmen (Walt Whitman would later become one of its librarians). First established in Brooklyn Heights, the Library moved into rooms in the Brooklyn Lyceum building on Washington Street in 1841. Two years later, the Lyceum and the Library combined to form the Brooklyn Institute, offering important early exhibitions of painting and sculpture in addition to lectures on subjects as diverse as geology and abolitionism. The Institute announced plans to establish a permanent gallery of fine arts in 1846.

In recent years, the Museum has focused on redesigning its galleries and reinstalling its major collections to make them more accessible to the public. Flowing spaces, vivid wall colors, dramatic graphic elements, and multimedia components feature in many of these reconfigured galleries. The Museum opened its spectacularly redesigned front entrance and new public plaza on April 17, 2004. With the nineteenth-century Beaux-Arts facade as a backdrop, a two-story glass entrance pavilion, named the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion and Lobby, provides a sense of direct connection between the interior of the building and the exterior surroundings, while bringing natural light into the formerly dark interior. The new 15,000-square-foot glass pavilion, recalling the staircase of the original McKim, Mead & White entrance, combined with the renovated lobby area of nearly 9,000 square feet, creates an entirely new entrance facility that more than doubles the size of the previous lobby area. Among the amenities is a new, full-service Visitor Center offering information, ticketing, and a range of services to the public.

 

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