First Look: The Essential Guide to Jersey City Museum
Founded as part of the Jersey City Public Library in 1901, the Jersey City Museum is the only cultural institution of its kind in the state. The museum's permanent collection features American art and material culture from the region dating from the colonial period through the present. This is the first collections catalog that the Museum has published and will introduce readers to its eclectic holdings. The selection of 150 objects, presented chronologically, represents highlights from each of the genres, including painting, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, works on paper, furniture, metals, and ephemera. The museum's own lengthy and varied history helped to form its collections. An essay by Alan Wallach, professor of American art at the College of William and Mary, addresses this history and the museum's role as a teaching institution. In addition to paintings and a small selection of sculpture, the museum houses a body of objects that relate to local history, including a collection of glass and ceramic works by the American Pottery Company and the Jersey Glass Company. Its industrial collection features advertisements and other ephemera produced by industries based in the area during the nineteenth century. The small but lovely collection of paintings includes a view of downtown New York from Brooklyn by Colin Campbell Cooper, a regal portrait of prominent Jersey City citizen Judge Peter Sip by the illustrious portrait duo of Samuel Waldo and William Jewett, and a 1986 painting by Helen Miranda Wilson of a bird's eye view of New York harbor. The collection of contemporary art features imagery by a diverse body of significant artists including Chakaia Booker, Larry Fink, Leon Golub, Komar and Melamid, Conrad Marca-Relli, Sheila Pepe, Naomi Savage, Shazia Sikander, and Kara Walker. The Museum's recent history and its contemporary collection are addressed in an essay by the curator, Rocio Aranda-Alvarado.Distributed for the Jersey City Museum.
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