For those who enjoy what the world of art has to offer, viewing art can be therapeutic and satisfying. New Jersey, being the historic and diverse state that it is, has an arts scene that exposes our rich culture, heritage, and charm. Whether you are a year-round art enthusiast or you are just looking for an air-conditioned activity to do this summer, these New Jersey art museums are definitely worth a visit.
1. Grounds For Sculpture
The Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey describes themselves as “a museum, sculpture garden, and arboretum where art and nature are always at play.” For those who like outdoor strolls, this museum features around 300 contemporary sculptures within 42 acres of land. The grounds and exterior of this New Jersey site resemble dreamy movie sets.
Inside, they have a selection of temporary exhibits you can visit, and if you want to support local artists, there are six emerging artist galleries to choose from. Horticulture enthusiasts can also visit their gardens rich with exotic trees and flowers.
Tickets are available on their website. Prices may vary.
2. Montclair Art Museum
If you want to experience rich and diverse American art, definitely check out the Montclair Art Museum. They are recognized as the leading American art museum in northern New Jersey that values “artistic inspiration, diversity of voices, individual and group creativity, and the importance of all arts to a civil, inclusive, and forward-thinking society.” MAM also boasts an incredible history. It opened its doors in 1914 and has prioritized giving patrons and visitors an inclusive and comprehensive American art experience. In addition, they are among the first museums in the country to curate and study Native American art.
MAM is also attached to an art school, the Yard School of Art, which offers yearly art courses to people of all ages, abilities and skill levels.
MAM members have free access. Otherwise, tickets are free for children under 12, $12 for students and seniors and $15 for adults.
3. Morris Museum
The Morris Museum in the historic Morristown, New Jersey is not only a Smithsonian Affiliate but also offers the opportunity for visitors to indulge in performing arts. According to their website, this New Jersey art museum is the only accredited museum in the country with a full-fledged proscenium theatre attached to it. This gives visitors a chance to integrate their museum experience with a theatre experience.
Visitors can choose from an array of different galleries and exhibitions. Whether you’re into historical art or contemporary art, there is always something that will pique your interest. They also offer educational programs including gallery tours and outreach programs.
Members are granted free admission. Admission rates are as follows: children under 3 are free, children 3-17 are $8, students under 25 are $8, senior citizens are $8 and adults are $12.
If you want something different from paintings and sculptures, visit WheatonArts. This cultural center provides a holistic art experience by allowing visitors to view demonstrations of pottery and glassblowing. Within WheatonArts is The Museum of American Glass, which provides visitors with a large selection of glass art to view and has over 200,000 curated pieces. They also have a Down Jersey Folklife Program which allows visitors to immerse themselves in art from all different cultures by offering performances, activities and classes. In the past, the program provided Native American drum-making as an activity, Estonian dancing performances and Indian mehndi and rangoli classes.
For admission, children 5 and under are free, students cost $7, adults over 62 cost $11 and adults cost $12.
5. Zimmerli Art Museum
New Brunswick, NJ
University-based museums are always great to visit, as they usually have interesting and rare artwork and exhibits donated to them. Rutgers University’s Zimmerli Art Museum is no exception. Everything from Revolutionary War paintings to nineteenth-century French works grace the halls and exhibition space of Zimmerli. The museum also features two large exhibitions a year that center around a theme or artistic movement.
Currently, “Communism Through the Lens: Everyday Life Captured by Women Photographers in the Dodge Collection” is open. This exhibition features the works of female photojournalists who documented the Soviet Union’s history. An upcoming exhibition centers around Angela Davis, a then-controversial political activist of the 1970s.
Admission is free to all.
6. Princeton University Art Museum
Up next on our list of New Jersey art museums is Princeton University’s Art Museum. They are known as one of the world’s greatest in an academic setting. Their collections span many different styles, including abstract art and photography, as well as works from around the world. Past exhibitions have featured art from China, England and Mexico.
As of right now, they offer online-only exhibitions, art classes and events. The Princeton University Art Museum will be under construction until 2024.
7. Morven Museum and Garden
Former home to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Morven Museum and Garden not only serves as an art museum but also as a historical landmark. This New Jersey museum allows visitors to explore a preserved historic home while viewing art exhibitions that carry art from all eras of American history. The property also has a garden through which visitors can walk. Morven also offers art workshops and camps for teens.
Tickets are available on their website. Prices may vary.
Have you been to any of these New Jersey art museums? Let us know in the comments below.
Main image via @morrismuseum