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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

New Exhibition Highlights Foundation’s Contributions to State Museum

The New Jersey State Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the new exhibition “Foundation@50: Celebrating Five Decades of Support” on September 22. Since its founding in 1968, the New Jersey State Museum Foundation has provided vital support to the Museum. The exhibition highlights more than 60 fascinating objects, artifacts and specimens which have been added to the Museum’s collections over the past 50 years through the support of the Foundation.

Among the objects in the exhibition is the very first gift of the Foundation, a c.1777 silver cream pot. Other pieces include c.1800s stoneware jug by Jacob Van Wickle of Old Bridge; a 1955 Davy Crockett metal lunchbox by the ADCO Liberty Manufacturing Corporation, Newark, NJ; and two early pieces of Lenox art pottery. Works from the Fine Art collection figure prominently, including a 1966 photograph of Muhammad Ali by Gordon Parks, a watercolor by Elsie Driggs, “The Watcher” by Romare Bearden, and more. Rounding out the exhibition are important artifacts and specimens representing the Archaeology/Ethnography and Natural History bureaus.

Secretary of State Tahesha Way notes, “We are honored to celebrate the contributions of the New Jersey State Museum Foundation to the State Museum and to the citizens of our state. This fifty year partnership has been an extraordinary example of a public-private partnership in service of education, the arts, history and science. We congratulate the Foundation, its Board and all its members, past and present, on this milestone event.”

According to Margaret O’Reilly, Museum Executive Director, “The Foundation has been vital to the growth of the Museum’s collections and programs. In addition to the objects on display in the new exhibition, labels throughout the Museum highlight the other objects on display that have been added to the collections with the Foundation’s help.” Established to support the then fledgling art collection, the Foundation has grown to support all aspects of the Museum’s work including educational programming, exhibitions, archaeological and scientific excavations, scholarly research, donations to the collections, artifact conservation, publication of exhibition catalogues, upgrades to planetarium equipment, professional development for Museum staff, and more. The Foundation manages the Museum’s Gift Shop, advocates on behalf of the Museum, and the Board and staff serve as ambassadors for the Museum within the community.

Nicole Jannotte, Executive Director of the Foundation, added, “The Foundation is excited to celebrate 50 years of giving with this exhibition. The objects on display are just a small portion of the contributions made by the Foundation and its members over the years. The Foundation’s work can be seen daily throughout the Museum in galleries and programs and experiences that support lifelong learning for all visitors.”

The New Jersey State Museum is open 9:00 am to 4:45 pm, Tuesday through Sunday, and is closed all State holidays. “Foundation@50: Celebrating Five Decades of Support” will be on view through January 27, 2019. For additional information visit, like the Museum’s Facebook page, follow on Twitter (njstatemuseum), or Instagram (nj_statemuseum.)


About the New Jersey State Museum

Located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, the New Jersey State Museum encompasses three buildings including a state-of-the-art Planetarium, and holds over 2 million objects in its collections in Archaeology/Ethnography, Cultural History, Fine Art and Natural History. As a center of cultural, educational and scientific engagement, the museum inspires innovation and lifelong learning through collections, exhibitions, programs and research in science, history and art. Established in 1895, the New Jersey State Museum fosters state pride, serves as a cultivator of tomorrow’s leaders, and engages visitors of all ages and diverse backgrounds in an exploration of New Jersey’s cultural and natural history presented within a global context. The New Jersey State Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

About the New Jersey State Museum Foundation

Celebrating 50 years in 2018, the New Jersey State Museum Foundation was founded in 1968 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) to support the museum's collections, exhibitions and programs through fundraising, volunteerism, advocacy and marketing. In recent years, the foundation has received generous support from the PNC Foundation, NJM Insurance Group, Department of State/New Jersey Historical Commission, Henry Luce Foundation, Capstone Foundation and Princeton Area Community Foundation. The Foundation also operates a newly renovated gift shop selling merchandise related to the museum's exhibitions, collections and New Jersey history and culture. Proceeds support the New Jersey State Museum's collections, exhibitions and programs.


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