Recreating a Lost
Museum's Collection

Alexander Nagel, assistant professor of Art History, is one of the first FIT faculty members to conduct research at the FIT Center for Innovation, FIT’s latest outpost at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Nagel, a researcher with a focus on the Near East, connected with Brooklyn-based museum professionals, art historians, and artists to recreate ancient artistic environments as education tools for museums, high schools, and elsewhere in academia. Originally, Nagel had sought to use the Center for Innovation as a hub for interdisciplinary partnerships, in order to enhance access to art and monuments. But the global health crisis of 2020 forced Nagel to shift his focus. He created a survey of the art once housed in the Brooklyn Lyceum–a 19th century museum of sarcophagi, materials from Troy, relics from Egypt, and more–that was taken to the Smithsonian, Naval Academy in Maryland, and elsewhere when the Lyceum closed. This survey became the basis for a conversation with institutions near the Navy Yard, and a way to digitally recreate a collection whose museum closed a century ago.

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