Contact The NJ State Museum
Mailing Address:
NJ State Museum
PO Box 530
Trenton, NJ 08625

Museum & Auditorium Galleries:
205 West State Street
Trenton, NJ

Tel: (609) 292-6464 (recorded message)
A Message From The State Museum’s Executive Director

Museums are extraordinary places that provide opportunities for discovery, explore the lives and stories of people who came before us, share artistic vision, allow us to wonder about our natural environment, and inspire our imaginations.  Here at the New Jersey State Museum, we strive to inspire through exhibitions and educational experiences based on our broad collecting areas of Archaeology & Ethnography, Cultural History, Fine Art and Natural History.  The Museum’s partner in all these efforts is the New Jersey State Museum Foundation, a non-government, not-for-profit organization that supports the Museum through fundraising, membership and advocacy.

The Foundation was established as the Association for the Arts of the New Jersey State Museum in 1968 by a small group of dedicated, philanthropically-minded patrons to provide support to the Museum’s then small but growing collections in fine and decorative arts.  In its early years, the Association funded exhibitions and educational programs including children’s theater and lectures by renowned art historians, artists, collectors and craftspeople.  Additionally, the Association provided funding for a number of important acquisitions to the collections.  In its first three years alone, the Association facilitated the acquisition of 122 prints, 15 drawings, 30 paintings, 15 sculptures, 134 glass works, 172 ceramics, 450 pieces of fine silver, 8 pieces of furniture and nearly 200 other artifacts for the Museum’s collections!

In 1973, the Association changed its name to the Friends of the New Jersey State Museum to reflect its expanded role in supporting all areas of the Museum.  Archaeological and scientific excavations received funding from the Friends, as did scholarly research, artifact conservation, exhibition catalogues, planetarium equipment, professional development for Museum staff, and so much more.  The Friends took over management of the Museum’s Gift Shop, where members received (and still do!) discounts on wonderful items that expand and enhance their museum experience.  Members participated in special educational and travel opportunities, and were able to enjoy receptions and galas in support of Museum programs.

In 2015, the Friends became the New Jersey State Museum Foundation to more clearly define its critically important public/private partnership with the State Museum.  The work begun in 1968 continues, as the Foundation’s committed Board and staff strives to support and enhance the ongoing work of the State Museum.  The millions of dollars raised and tens of thousands of volunteers hours contributed in service to the Museum and its visitors from New Jersey and beyond is a legacy to be celebrated.

Today, on the anniversary of its founding fifty years ago, on behalf of the entire Museum staff, and all the New Jerseyans we serve, I congratulate and commend the New Jersey State Museum Foundation for its half century of extraordinary commitment to the State Museum’s collections, exhibitions, research and educational programs.  We extend our gratitude to every member of the Board and staff, and to all Foundation members, past, present and future, for the important contributions you have made to enrich the lives of the people of New Jersey and provide lifelong learning experiences to each and every visitor.  May the partnership continue for another 50 years, and more!

- Margaret O’Reilly