“Permanent collection reinstallation” is such a dreary term. It sounds like a medical procedure one would rather skip. But with a rehang of a superb collection of American art like the Brooklyn Museum’s, it ought to be a joy. The museum has always packed a powerful curatorial punch—but this flat fifth-floor installation, driven by an identity-oriented agenda, says plenty about the status of American art in the museum.
The show begins with a whimper, with introductory wall text lacking any visual drama. Given the unfolding show, this seems deliberate: the curators don’t much like American art and don’t know what to do with it.