Alternate Title John Rarey: Lecture: Horse Training
Production Language English
Country of Origin United States
Description The Brooklyn Academy of Music opened on January 15, 1861 with a board and subscribers who disagreed about what should be presented and the mission for the institution. Only two weeks into BAM’s first season, tensions mounted when John Solomon Rarey gave live horse training demonstrations. Rarey, the original horse whisperer, was enormously popular—3,218 tickets were accepted at the door for a venue with 2,250 seats. The less conservative shareholders and board members argued that if BAM was willing to present entertainment in the form of a horse tamer, surely it should reconsider other, more challenging, performances. It was an argument with wide implications at this new Brooklyn cultural center with questions about aesthetics, ethics, and economics. With the Civil War only months away, class, politics, and race divided Brooklyn audiences sharply.