Newark Museum Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

Newark Museum and Bellentine House
Newark Museum and Ballantine House

The Newark Museum will celebrate its 100-hour Centennial Celebration Marathon, a multi-cultural extravaganza offered, round-the-clock, from 10:30 a.m. on April 22 to 6:00 p.m. on April 26.

The imaginative programs planned for the Centennial Celebration include demonstrations and workshops in art forms from quilting and pottery; armchair talks with members of the Museum’s distinguished curatorial staff and other scholars; dance lessons and then the opportunity to use what you’ve learned at Motown, Salsa and Swing dance parties; a 100 Amazing Object treasure hunt through the Museum’s 80 galleries from the permanent collection; exciting planetarium experiences, and multicultural, multi-ethnic performing arts presentations by professional musicians and dancers.

A community birthday party will conclude the 100-hour marathon on Sunday, April 26, complete with a birthday cake, special musical performances by Dr. K’s Motown Revue, and dancing in the garden. The Newark Museum was founded in April, 1909, by John Cotton Dana, Director of the Newark Library. A national revolutionizing influence on both librarianship and museums, Dana’s intense interest in contemporary American art, at a time when other museums were concentrating on European masters, resulted in an important core collection of 19th and early 20th century works. That interest is reflected today in the Museum’s Collection of American art, considered one of the finest in the country.

The initial art exhibition for the Centennial, Unbounded: New Art for a New Century, opened in February and will run through August 16. The exhibition highlights the Newark Museum’s expansive and global approach to contemporary art by creating unexpected connections or groupings that transcend traditional divisions based on geography, genre or media. All the works are from the Museum’s permanent collection.

The first of a series of site-specific, single-artist Centennial commissions, InsectaFantasia has been installed in the historic Ballantine House and has received critical praise. The installation will remain on view through June 14.

For a complete calendar of marathon activities and centennial celebration exhibitions, visit newarkmuseum.org or call 973-596-6550.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage. When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city. With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s. The result will be a book with a video component. We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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