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  • Celebrating the Centennial of the Montclair Art Museum

    by Representative Rodney P. Frelinghuysen

    Posted on 2014-01-14

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    FRELINGHUYSEN of new jersey in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the Montclair Art Museum, located in the Township of Montclair in Essex, County, New Jersey, as it celebrates its Centennial Anniversary.



    When the Montclair Art Museum opened in 1914, it was not only one of the country's first museums to primarily focus on American and Native American art, but also was one of the first museums in the nation to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. The museum's collections began with gifts from Montclair residents, which acted as the foundation of its holdings. The American collection started with a gift of 36 paintings from William T. Evans, while the Native American collection was initiated by Mrs. Henry Lang, both co-founders of the museum. When the museum opened, it dedicated a gallery to America's landscape painter George Innes, who spent the last nine years of his life creating artwork in Montclair, New Jersey.

    In 1924, the museum founded its art school, now known as the Yard School of Art. The school has operated continually since then, offering a wide spectrum of artistic courses to children, teenagers, and adults. In 2011, the school added a Ceramics Studio and Digital Media Laboratory. Two additional programs include training for teachers in the arts, and a new contemporary art program. The museum provides programs for seniors and special needs individuals, as well.

    Since the opening in 1914, the Museum's collection has grown to over 12,000 works. The American collection includes paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs dating from the 18th Century to the present and features works by Benjamin West, Asher B. Durand, John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Andy Warhol. The Native American Collection contains over 4,000 pieces including basketry, pottery, and jewelry from various cultural areas across the United States. The museum also features young and emerging artists.

    The Montclair Art Museum maintains a strong sense of community presence through its public and family programs. Each year, 10,000 students from Kindergarten to twelfth grade visit the museum, coming from 190 school districts. The museum also holds events such as Family Days, Montclair Art Museum Park Bench, Home School Days, Family Learning Laboratory, and birthday parties.

    As it celebrates its Centennial, the Montclair Art Museum continues to work towards bettering its education programs, outreach efforts, exhibitions, and informing and inspiring diverse audiences.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask you and my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Montclair Art Museum, its trustees, staff and many volunteers, as they celebrate their Centennial Anniversary.

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