Streams

Jersey City Arts Treasure Closes

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Jersey City Museum, founded more than 100 years ago and home to more than 20,000 piece art collection, has shuttered its doors following state and city budget cuts and an unsuccessful bid to partner with New Jersey City University.

A non-profit was continuing to keep the lights and heat on in the facility that served 11,000 students and 25,000 visitors annually, according to the museum's Website.

"It was more important as the museum that represented Jersey City where a lot of the contemporary artists in New Jersey live and work," said Dan Bischoff, art critic for The Star Ledger, said the museum was an integral part of a thriving arts scene. 

"And the museum provided a showcase in their neighborhood to show their art."

This latest setback for the Jersey arts scene comes as non-profit groups state wide are bracing for continued cut backs as Governor Christie and the legislature try and close a ten billion dollar budget gap.

Bischoff  said the museum was not just an integral part of a thriving arts scene but also a key educational resource.

"They had classes for local school children from grade school to high school," Bischoff said. "Not just classes in how to do art but classes on art appreciation, and it was a place where they could learn something about international art not just art from Jersey City."

No one answered the phone at the cultural institution and a call to the Board of Trustees President was not returned.

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Comments [1]

Vo Nguyen Giap

Just a few of the 10,000 works in the Jersey City Museum collection that may have an uncertain future. David Wojnarowicz, "Untitled" (1982), Conrad Marca-Relli, "S-4-62" (1962), Romare Bearden, "Three Women" (c. 1975); Allison Saar, "Blue Plate Special" (nd); Mathew Brady, "Mary Todd Lincoln" (1861); Robert Indiana, "Amor" (nd); Nancy Spero, "Ballade von der Judenhure Marie Sanders" (1991); William Pope L., "Untitled" (1999).

As of now, who is safeguarding the collection? Who is checking the collection for signs of signs of deterioration, which may require immediate attention and treatment? We’re currently in a deep freeze. In general, works of art must never be placed in close proximity to sources of heat, cold or strong air-currents. Temperature should not vary by more than four degrees in any twenty-four hour period in a museum. Extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity can damage works of art. Is the temperature being regulated in the building? In addition, not all artwork requires same care. Many objects need complex or unusual environmental requirements.

I have some other questions too. Why did the partnership with NJCU not pan out? Why did the city cut back so much? Was it because the city didn't have the money, or did the city know too that 500K wasn't going to do it, so why give any?

Jan. 26 2011 01:35 AM

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