Museum Reviews Jersey City Museum Jersey City NJ

“…. to emphasize the values of all cultures, and to show the people what they can learn from each other. – Jersey City Library Museum Founding Documents c 1930

http://www.jerseycitymuseum.org

With an emphasis on the work of contemporary artists, particularly those who represent the diversity of our society, the Jersey City Museum is a teaching institution that has had a past as fascinating as its many collections.

The museum was initially founded as part of the first Jersey City Free Public Library, and for the first century of its existence it was a cultural center that was visited by thousands of people. Most of the visitors were new immigrants, which made it an important center for commerce and industrialization. Open to all, no matter their walk of life, the museum offered classes and exhibitions of art and artifacts.

In 1931 the museum’s goals were defined as …to acquaint all the people of the community with matters of the past and present . . . and to emphasize the values of all cultures and to show the people what they can learn from each other. Goals that still remain a central point in the museums goals today.

An economic downturn in the 1950’s would lead to the museum’s collections being stored away and its future in doubt as museum activities were stopped. It would not be until the 1970’s before the museum, through an effort of the community and students from Jersey City State College, would be revived. At last separated fiscally from the library in 1987, the museum would move into its current home at 350 Montgomery Street in 1993 when the building was donated to it by the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency.

A historic 1920’s building that sets only a few blocks from the museum’s original library location, the new museum building was at last opened to the public on October 19, 2001 after a substantial renovation and the restoration of the facility.

The Jersey City Museum is the only art and history museum in Hudson County, and has artwork in virtually every media. The museum has a 20,000-piece permanent collection of art that includes many works that create a visual history of Jersey City and the surrounding region, and the single-largest collection of works by the 19th-century artist and illustrator, August Will.

You can see a small sampling of the museum’s collections in a virtual collection on the museum website at http://www.jerseycitymuseum.org.

The museum features community events, tours and workshops. An example of a recent event was “Afternoon Delight for Seniors: The Reminiscents” on July 17, 2009. The Reminiscents is an eleven piece band (including vocalists) who specialize in music from the 1930’s through the 1970’s and perform at local hospitals, retirement homes, block parties, etc… The event included light refreshments.

Closed on Sundays, the museum is open Non to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 am to 5 pm Monday – Friday. Standard admission prices are $4 adults, $2 seniors/students, Free for museum members & kids under 12, however, as of this writing Target is sponsoring Target Free Saturdays so that admission is free for all visitors on Saturdays during the gallery hours (12pm to 5pm).

HANDICAP ACCESSIBILITY

All areas of the building, including galleries, theater, restrooms and elevator, are wheelchair accessible. Free wheelchairs, on a first come first serve basis, are available in the first floor coat room. Infra-red listening devices are available for use in the Caroline L. Guarini Theater.

Note: Individuals needing special assistance should contact Rita Salpietro, Communications Manager, at 201-413-0303, ext. 144 to arrange special accommodations.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photographing of the museum’s permanent collection galleries is permitted but must be for private, noncommercial use only.

MORE INFORMATION:

Museum Website – http://www.jerseycitymuseum.org
Getting to the museum – http://www.jerseycitymuseum.org/template.cfm?cid=117
Museum’s Online Store – http://jerseycitymuseum.ecrater.com/