Posts tagged ‘Dr. William Peniston’

Announcing two new books on John Cotton Dana and the Newark Museum

 Blog written by Dr. William Peniston, Newark Museum Librarian

On Thursday, November 18 at 4 pm meet author Carol G. Duncan, who will be signing her book "A Matter of Class" during the Holiday Shopping Spree.

A Matter of Class: John Cotton Dana, Progressive Reform, and the Newark Museum

  by Carol G. Duncan (Periscope Publishing, 2010).

This highly original book tracks Dana’s career from its beginnings in the Denver Public Library to his move back East, where he met stiff opposition to his plans for a “museum of service” — his term for the alternative museum he envisioned. Using her incomparable knowledge of the history of museums, Carol G. Duncan, Professor Emerita of Art History at Ramapo College of New Jersey, assesses Dana’s conflicts with influential supporters of the arts, first in Springfield, Massachusetts, and then, for almost three decades in Newark, New Jersey.

 No previous book has reconstructed Dana’s role in the Progressive Movement or been more perceptive about his fiery personality and vision of modernity. A Matter of Class is, as well, an astute guide to the social and political agendas still mixed into the public offerings of our museums and libraries.

Made in Newark: Cultivating Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era by Ezra Shales (Rutgers University Press, 2010).

In this book, Ezra Shales, who teaches at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, describes a turbulent industrial city at the

Ezra Shales, author of "Made in Newark: Cultivating Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era" will speak and sign copies of the book on Friday, November 19 at 4 pm. This event takes place during the Holiday Shopping Spree.

dawn of the twentieth century and the ways it inspired the library’s and the museum’s outspoken director, John Cotton Dana, to collaborate with industrialists, social workers, and educators, on experimental exhibitions in which cultural literacy was intertwined with civics and consumption. Local artisans demonstrated crafts, connecting the cultural institution to the department store, school, and factory, all of which invoked the ideal of municipal patriotism. Today, as cultural institutions reappraise their relevance, Made in Newark explores precedents for contemporary debates over the ways the library and museum engage communities, define heritage in a multicultural era, and add value to the economy.

Both authors will be speaking and signing books during the Newark Museum’s Holiday Shopping Spree, November 17 through 21, 2011.

To learn more about the Newark Museum, visit

November 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm 1 comment

Newark Museum Hosts Book Reading In Celebration of Newark Essex Pride

The autobiographies of eight gay Frenchmen written between 1845 and 1905 are the subject of an insightful study and reading being presented by the study authors in conjunction with Newark Essex Pride at the Newark Museum tomorrow (June 11) from 3pm to 5pm. 

 Reflecting on their childhood, adolescence, and adulthood and providing impressions of their loves and desires, the authors present a fascinating glimpse of gay life in nineteenth century France.  Dr. William Peniston, Librarian at the Newark Museum and Dr. Nancy Erber professor of linguistics and modern languages at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York translated, edited and introduced these autobiographies in their study entitled Queer Lives: Men’s Autobiographies from Nineteenth-Century France.  

"Queer Lives: Men's Autobiographies from Nineteenth-Century France" edited, translated and introduced by Dr. William Peniston, Librarian at the Newark Museum and Dr. Nancy Erber professor of linguistics and modern languages at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York.


The Peniston-Erber study sheds new light on the subject at a time gay men and women are seeking the roots of their communities and when scholars are trying to understand the formation of sexual identities at a crucial moment in the history of modern Europe. 

 Dr. Richard Berrong, Professor of French, Kent State University, wrote the following in the Gay and Lesbian Review

“Editors William A. Peniston and Nancy Erber do a good job of situating the original editors of these texts, the doctors who first published them, in the burgeoning and by no means monolithic thought of the era. . . . Peniston and Erber have provided a real service by making these works available to an English-speaking audience. Anyone who has ever struggled to create a personal identity out of his or her feelings and the options provided by society will be fascinated to see how these men undertook the same struggle with little information and less hard science to go on.” 

For more information visit ( 

For more information about the Newark Museum visit   

June 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

Join the Newark Museum blog page!

Join 250 other followers

Follow us on Twitter

Newark Museum Flickr Photos


May 2020


%d bloggers like this: