Archive for June, 2019

The Newark Museum @ 110. Part VI: Education

France Garrido with children from Valisburg

Newark Museum Educator France Garrido with children from Valisburg

“Our Newark museums,” Dana wrote in 1921, by which he meant “a group of museums, in the fields of art, science, and industry, of the modern type,” “should be the handmaidens of our schools, helping to discover among our thousands of young people those tastes and talents which may lead them to such accomplishments as will bring profit, credit, and civility to our city.” Toward that end, he encouraged teachers to bring their students to the museum for both formal and informal instruction. In addition, he founded the Lending Collection (later called Educational Loan Collection) in 1912 to take art objects and science specimens out into classrooms as teaching aids. The Junior Museum was established in 1913 as an after-school club that held classes, took field trips, mounted exhibitions, and put on theatrical pageants.

Apprentices 1929-30

Apprentices 1929-30

The Apprenticeship School graduated its first class in 1926, and these young women, along with a few men, took what they learned at the Newark Museum into their careers as museum workers at other institutions. Among this very first class of apprentices were Dorothy C. Miller, who popularized abstract expressionism in the 1950s and 1960s when she was the curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and Dorothy H. Dudley, who standardized museum registration methods in the years when she was the registrar at MoMA. Later, in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the Arts Workshop was designed for adult learners, when individuals were looking to improve their skills or to find inspiration through their own creativity.

Arts Workshop 1945

Arts Workshop 1945

Nationally recognized today as a leader in arts education, the Newark Museum offers an extensive menu of school programs for Pre-K through 12th-grade students, along with professional development opportunities for elementary, junior-high, and high-school teachers. Other rich and varied educational programming for visitors of all ages include lectures and symposia, live dance and music performances, group and public gallery tours, family drop-in activities, and hands-on workshops in the MakerSPACE, a place where learners of all ages can get creative with clay, paint, found objects, or digital and computer software.

Herve 4 croppedSecond Sundays (weekend programming for all ages) and Late Thursdays (evening programs for adults) deepen the public’s engagement with the museum’s collections and exhibitions. Recent themes explored glass and gloss, art remix, and LGBTQ Pride. In addition, the Museum has several free public programs that promote lifelong learning, including Creative Play, which provides early childhood education activities, and Vitality Arts, which offers multi-session art making courses for adults aged 55 and up.

Late ThursdaySummers are enhanced by Camp Newark Museum, a fun, innovative six-week experience where children from 3 to 14 expand their knowledge through the exploration of the museum’s art and science collections; the Newark Museum Black Film Festival, the longest-running film festival devoted to the African-American and the African-diaspora experience; and Jazz in the Garden, a series of mid-day, open-air musical performances in the museum’s sculpture garden.

School children in front of TNM 1

School children in front of the Museum

Documentation for these activities exist in the form of scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and brochures, administrative files, and photographs. Some of these materials are on display in the exhibition, Promoting Books and Objects: Empowering Newarkers, which is on view on the third floor of the Newark Public Library from January 15 until August 31, 2019. See it before it closes – and be sure to come to the Newark Museum for one of its many lively programs.

William A. Peniston, Ph.D., Librarian/Archivist

June 28, 2019 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

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June 2019


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