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The Newark Experience

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One of the treasures of Newark. Founded in 1909, the Newark Museum is the largest museum in New Jersey. Collections include the best collection of Tibetan art in the Western hemisphere. In line with the philosophy of its founding Director, John Cotton Dana, the Museum has always had an unusually strong service and educational commitment.

Newark Museum Home
Address by the Honorable Thomas L. Raymond...At the Dedication of the New Museum of Newark New Jersey
Newark Museum Association, 1926

Exhibitions and Collections

Current Featured Exhibitions
Newark Museum Collections
"Modern Design at the Newark Museum: A Survey of Exhibitions Presented Over a Forty Year Period,"
Dean Freiday. Newark Museum Quarterly 4(1-2), 1952, pp.1-32 .
"Survey: 50 Years of the Newark Museum,"
Newark Museum Quarterly 11, 1959, pp.2-135.
American Art in the Newark Museum: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture.
Newark, N.J., The Museum, 1981. Available?
Catalogue of the Newark Museum Tibetan Collection
Valrae Reynolds and Amy Heller. 2d edition. Newark, N.J., The Museum, 1983-1986. 3 vols. Available?
To find other catalogs of Newark Museum collections search the Catalog with the subject keywords
newark museum catalogs

John Cotton Dana and the Newark Museum

A Museum of Service
John Cotton Dana. Reprinted April, 1929 from Survey Graphic, February 1923. Available?
A Matter of Class: John Cotton Dana, Progressive Reform, and the Newark Musuem.
Carol G. Duncan. Pittsburgh, Pa., Periscope Pub., 2009.  Available?
Made in Newark: Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era.
Ezra Shales. New Brunswick, Rivergate Books, 2010.  Available?
"Its Future Beyond Prophecy...The City of New Jersey, Worthy Sister of New York":John Cotton Dana's Vision for the Newark Museum, 1909-1929.
Genevieve Ruth Shiffrar. Thesis (M.A.), University of Arizona, 1994. 
"John Cotton Dana: A Contemporary Appraisal of His Contributions and Lasting Influence on the Library and Museum Worlds 60 Years After His Death."
William J. Dane. Art Libraries Journal 15(2), 1990, pp. 5-9.  Available?
"John Cotton Dana: His Art Interests & Influence," Rutgers-restricted access
William J. Dane. Art Documentation 16(2), Fall 1997, pp.3-5. 
"John Cotton Dana and the Newark Museum,"
Barbara Lipton. Newark Museum Quarterly 30(2-3), Spring-Summer 1979, pp.1-58  Available?
"Dana Influence: the Newark Museum Collections,"
Newark Museum Quarterly 30(4), Fall 1979, pp.1-52  Available?
The Newark Museum Now and Then
Ulysses Grant Dietz. Magazine Antiques. 182(1), Jan/Feb 2015, pp. 129-145.
History of the Museum. Influence of the first director, John Cotton Dana, in establishing collections of contemporary American Art, folk art, decorative arts, and Asian and African art. Rutgers-restricted Access
The Gloom of the Museum
John Cotton Dana. No. 2 of the New Museum Series. Woodstock, Vermont, The Elm Tree Press, 1917.
"The Modern American Museum Was Invented in Newark"
Steven Kern. Antioch Review 74(2), Spring 2016, pp. 271-284.
"[John Cotton Dana's] 1913 essay, ‘'The Gloom of the Museum,” signaled a whole new philosophy and intent for museums in America; Dana called for a fresh start with facilities, location, content, service, and audience. Indeed, his comparison of a museum to a department store more than one hundred years ago is consistent with current museum expectations: a popular gathering place that is relevant and accessible, that serves all ages and people and attracts visitors from outside the community, that is a place of discovery and excitement, and that inter­sects deeply with the region’s business and industry." Rutgers-restricted Access
"Museums and Department Stores: Close Encounters,"
Carol Duncan IN High-pop: Making Culture into Popular Entertainment. Jim Collins, ed. Malden, Mass., Blackwell Publishers, 2002, pp.129-154.  Available?
"The Metropolitan Museum of Art as an Adjunct of Factory: Richard F. Bach and the Resolution Between Gilman's Temple and Dana's Department Store.,"
Antoinette M. Guglielmo. Curator: The Museum Journal 55(2), April 2012, pp. 203-214
"Benjamin Ives Gilman’s metaphor of the art museum as a temple and John Cotton Dana’s metaphor of the museum as a department store...are often viewed by historians in a dichotomy of unresolved tension." Rutgers-restricted Access
The Newark Museum: A Chronicle of the Founding Years, 1909-1934.
Newark, N.J., Newark Museum, 1934.  Available?

Newark Museum Association


Art For All: The Special Collections. Samantha Johnston and Rosie Uyola. Clementine Productions, 2008.
Documentary on the history of Special Collections at Newark Public Library from John Cotton Dana to William Dane.


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