This fall, celebrate the legacy of Brooklyn’s own Spike Lee at the Brooklyn Museum!
Spike Lee: Creative Sources takes a rare glimpse into the world of Spike Lee, one of the most influential and prolific American directors. Lee has transformed the landscape of contemporary cinema and the art of filmmaking with his widely celebrated films like Do The Right Thing and Crooklyn.
Visitors will discover the sources of inspiration that have fueled Lee’s work through an immersive installation of objects that have been touchpoints in his creative process.
Throughout his life, Spike Lee has created art across mediums, including numerous movies, commercials, and music videos that helped shape generations of fans and followers across the city, industry, and culture.
Organized around seven themes—Black history and culture, Brooklyn, sports, music, cinema history, family, and politics—the exhibition draws connections between the people, places, and ideas behind his creative endeavors. It also marks Brooklyn’s first major exhibition on Lee, an artist whose persona is synonymous with the borough.
“Spike Lee: Creative Sources offers a fresh perspective on a cultural icon, focusing on the individuals and influences that have shaped Spike Lee’s body of work, which is so well known today,” says Kimberli Gant, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum. “By making Lee’s collection accessible to the public, this showcase celebrates his legacy while honoring his deep connection to Brooklyn, a place that has been an integral part of his storytelling.”
A Brooklyn icon, Lee has centered the borough and other New York City locales in many of his films and has collected and preserved artifacts from Brooklyn’s rich history. More than three hundred objects represent the wide range of mediums that have inspired Lee, such as historical photographs, paintings, album covers, movie posters, letters, first-edition books, costumes, and film memorabilia.
The section about Brooklyn presents photographs by David Lee (Spike Lee’s younger brother) and Tseng Kwong Chi; movie posters; and set dressings and props from Lee’s Brooklyn-based films, such as Do the Right Thing (1989), and She’s Gotta Have It (1986).
The exhibit will also highlight Spike Lee’s relationship with music and sports, all of which are standout components of his art.
Spike Lee: Creative Sources is organized by Kimberli Gant, Curator of Modern, and Contemporary Art, with Indira A. Abiskaroon, Curatorial Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.
When: October 6, 2023–February 4, 2024