Interact With Brooklyn Waterfront History at the Brooklyn Historical Society at Empire Stores

View of New York from Fulton Ferry Slip Brooklyn, 1872, by Pierrepont Bartow. Image via Brooklyn Historical Society

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The history of Brooklyn’s coastline comes to life through the sights and sounds of its workers, families and activists.

“Waterfront,” a multimedia exhibition at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Empire Stores location in Dumbo, is the result of four years of research. Video, sculptures and interactive installations allow visitors to explore different facets of the coastline’s past.

Warehouse workers, circa 1920, Underwood & Underwood. Courtesy of Brooklyn Historical Society

Warehouse workers, circa 1920, Underwood & Underwood. Image via Brooklyn Historical Society

An eight-minute film called “At Water’s Edge” details more than 20,000 years of waterfront history through 10 distinct moments, while “History in Motion” allows people to “enter” historic paintings, interact with the figures, and create 60-second videos starring themselves.

The exhibition also includes tales of local oystermen, oral histories of female Navy Yard dock workers and the freedom struggle of three enslaved residents who lived along the shoreline.

Eberhard Faber boxing and labeling department, circa 1920. Image via Brooklyn Historical Society

Eberhard Faber boxing and labeling department, circa 1920. Courtesy of Brooklyn Historical Society

Focusing on the present day, a video installation called “Rising Waters” allows visitors to confront debates about climate change and rising sea levels through the words of historians, scientists, activists and others.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, January 20 at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s second location at Empire Stores in Dumbo. For more information on the event, click here.

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