A Brooklyn Museum’s Ode to Tabloid Culture

The show, “Nicole Richie’s 2007 Memorial Day BBQ,” is named after a party Ms. Richie threw in Beverly Hills, the invitation to which reportedly imposed a weight limit (“No girls over 100 pounds allowed in”). Mischa Barton and Ms. Lohan were among the guests, and the party became tabloid fodder after Ms. Barton was rushed to the hospital for what her publicist said was a bad interaction of alcohol and antibiotics.

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Matt Harkins and Viviana Rosales Olen, the curators of the museum.

Credit
Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

Despite its idiosyncratic reference point, the exhibition paints with a broad brush, examining the many night-life fixtures and scandal magnets of the early aughts. It is the museum’s fourth exhibition, and the second in its current location: a 450-square-foot space in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Started by Viviana Rosales Olen, 30, and Matt Harkins, 29, in the Williamsburg apartment that they shared, the museum moved in the spring to its new space. Its inaugural exhibition, in Williamsburg, was based on the ESPN documentary “The Price of Gold,” about the figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. (The museum’s name stands for the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum, with 1994 being the year Ms. Kerrigan was attacked just days before the Olympic trials.) Subsequent exhibitions have had a similar focus on niche pop cultural moments.

“That’s why the ‘Olsen Twins Hiding’ exhibit was centered around Mary-Kate’s wedding where she had bowls and bowls of cigarettes,” Mr. Harkins said. “And this spring we did one about this YouTube video of Kim Cattrall doing spoken-word poetry.”

Mr. Harkins and Ms. Olen develop the exhibitions’ concepts, then tap a network of artist friends for interpretation. They asked the 19-year-old blogger behind Pop Culture Died in 2009 to help curate the current exhibition. (The blogger goes by the name Matt and refused to disclose his full name.) Many of the works are based on paparazzi photographs.

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A sculpture at the museum made from prescription bottles and string lights.

Credit
Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

The sisters Abby and Beth Wischnia, both 27, who were visiting from California, saw the show as an ode to a time…

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