The Monmouth Museum's mission is “to present changing exhibitions in art, history and science to educate and entertain while providing a destination for creative expression and lifelong learning to the diverse community it serves.” With five distinct exhibition areas within the facility and one outside, our unique Museum provided inspiration and a spark to the imagination to over 40,000 visitors in 2017. The Museum refers to itself as a “Museum of Ideas”, with a vision of enriching the community and connecting people of all ages and backgrounds by cultivating their appreciation for the arts, artists, culture, science and history.
Location: 765 Newman Springs Rd. Lincroft, NJ
Website Address: www.monmouthmuseum.org
The Monmouth Museum, founded in 1963, is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums for providing an unmatched experience in enjoying artistic, educational and cultural programming normally only available when visiting large cities. As the Jersey Shore's only multi-faceted Museum it has a 55-year history of presenting quality art exhibitions and educational programming. The Museum is an independent, non-profit organization and it is not affiliated with Monmouth County Government or Brookdale Community College. Instead it is supported by individuals, foundations, corporate, county and state grants, and income from special events, exhibition submission fees, membership dues and admissions.
The Museum was established as the result of a needs assessment conducted by the Junior League of Monmouth County. Until 1973 exhibitions were housed in storefronts and other available temporary spaces. A permanent home for the Museum was built in 1974, entirely from private funds, on the Brookdale Community College campus, on a two acre site leased from the College. The Museum is one of the largest independent museums in New Jersey, with an annual attendance exceeding 40,000.
Overview of Programs:
The Museum inspires and engages the community by presenting an energetic annual schedule of six Main Gallery exhibitions, eight Nilson Gallery exhibitions, four Hallway Gallery exhibitions, two children’s wings, 26 free events and a robust portfolio of programs. These programs include; the NJ Emerging Artists Series, Pre-school WonderWing, Becker Children’s Wing, Innovation Laboratory, Green Arts Studio, Meyer Art & Nature Area, Traveling Trunk Program, Life-Long Learning Series and Arts for Everyone: Inclusive Arts & Educational Programming. (See: New Jersey Bayshore - Feature video on the Monmouth Museum https://vimeo.com/165220591)
Main Gallery: The Museum strives to present exhibitions of historical and contemporary artistic significance, which are representative of the national and international art trends in the 2,300 square foot Main Gallery. For 39 years, the Museum has annually hosted an annual Juried Art Exhibition in this gallery. This exhibitions and all Museum’s juried art exhibitions have grown to utilize an online submission process, include international artists, and achieve national recognition with over 500 people attending the receptions. (See Discover Jersey Arts Video - https://youtu.be/BFI9z80gvF4)
The Main Gallery also features touring exhibitions from major presenters such as the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service. (See: http://www.sites.si.edu/) SITES exhibitions have included: "The Works of Robert Rauschenberg" in 2006 and "Beyond: Visions of Planetary Landscapes" in 2008. In 2011, the Museum hosted the traveling exhibition “Give Peace a Chance: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace”, an installation of over 40 large format images by the former LIFE photographer Gerry Dieter.
In addition, the Main Gallery highlights New Jersey artists who have made an artistic impact on our State and beyond. In 2010, the Museum presented both “George Segal Everyman”, an exhibition of his sculpture, paintings and drawings and the retrospective of a 70-year career NJ artist, “The Painting World of Evelyn Leavens”. In 2011 the Museum presented, “The Painting World of James Avati” a retrospective of the pre-eminent NJ painter of paperback covers and in 2016, "Lewis Lanza Rudolph Retrospective" which featured a lifetime of works by this reclusive NJ artist and 1983 NJSCA Arts Fellowship recipient. (See: Asbury Park Press - Review by Billy Anania of the retrospective, "Lewis Lanza Rudolph: Fantasy World Visions” http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/arts/2016/06/30/monmouth-museum-rudolph-exhibit/86521088/)
Plus, the Main Gallery offers a rich array of art and cultural exhibitions to spark interest and appreciation of the arts, cultural awareness and spur a dialog on current issues within our Central Jersey community and across the State. The most recent summer art exhibitions did just that and included in 2015 "Please Touch" Sculpture Exhibition (See: http://features.jerseyarts.com/content/index.php/nj-visual-arts/2015/08/seeing-isnt-always-believing-please-touch-exhibit-at-the-monmouth-museum/ ), in 2016, "Neo - Latino Critical Mass" (See: NJ Discover Interview with the Curator and Artists of "Neo-Latino: Critical Mass" http://www.njdiscover.com/wp1/2016/10/the-evolution-of-october-17th-show-neo-latino-artists-come-to-nj-discover-live-tv-tune-in-8-pm-monday-october-17th-hint-not-to-be-missed-hugely-relevant/) and in 2017, "Animal Architects: Influences on Creativity." (See: Asbury Park Press - Exhibition Review by Billy Anania of Animal Architects: influences on Human Creativity http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/arts/2017/06/22/animal-architects-monmouth-museum/103017768/)
Last but not least, since the 1980's the Main Gallery has offered Holiday Season exhibitions and programs most notably the enormous Model Train Display to delight of thousands upon thousands of kids of all ages. (See: https://patch.com/new-jersey/middletown-nj/mmkids-monmouth-museum)
Nilson Gallery: Since, 2007 the Monmouth Museum has presented the work of NJ emerging artists through its renowned series, the New Jersey Emerging Artists Series in the 950 square foot Nilson Gallery. The Series consists of six annual monthly solo exhibitions to showcase the new work of NJ artists who have not previously held one-person exhibitions in our State. The Nilson Gallery in the Monmouth Museum provides a unique and exciting opportunity for these artists to exhibit their work. Selected artists are guided through the exhibition process, provided promotional materials and are required and paid to give an Artist’s Talk during their exhibition, offering the public insight into their artistic process. All Opening Receptions & Gallery Talks are free and open to the public. The artists selected for this Series represent the diversity of talent in the State and demonstrate creativity in a wide variety of media. Fifty-nine artists have been mentored through the Series to date. (See: NJTV News, Feature Interview by Maddie Orton of NJ Emerging Artist Dion Hitchings http://watch.njtvonline.org/video/2365835039)
Hallway Gallery: The Hallway Gallery presents interactive and educational exhibitions that often supplement the presented Main Gallery Exhibition. Some past exhibitions have featured a “Please Touch” papermaking exhibition, a Museum Members miniature works exhibition, printmaking, and historical photography of the Jersey Shore and Central New Jersey. (See: http://monmouthmuseum.org/events/printing-the-world-we-see-2/)
WonderWing: The WonderWing is a large permanent installation of an under-the-sea learning adventure for preschoolers and home to the popular Preschool Story Time and Arts & Crafts Program and special MMKids performances. This exhibition space features large murals and interactive sculptures created by local artists and craftsmen including a pirate ship, tiki theater, tree house, and whale slide and more. (See: and The Magic of Sharks Family Performance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFOpeTHOJ8s)
Becker Children’s Wing: The 2,400 square foot Becker Children's Wing presents changing exhibition areas and educational programs in art, science, history and S.T.E.A.M. subject matter to engage school-age children in creativity and hands on learning. This Wing is the home base for MMKids Programs, the Green Arts Studio, Planetarium, Take a Book/Leave a Book Media Center, and new S.T.E.A.M. in Action - Innovation Laboratory.
• MMKids Programs: This series of children’s programs include changing monthly themes, ArtHour a weekly art workshop guided by a teaching artists, theatrical performances, and more. (See: http://monmouthmuseum.org/mmkids/)
• The Green Arts Studio: This very popular program uses recyclable materials donated by individuals, schools and local businesses and art supplies in the creation of art projects by children and families visiting the Museum.
• Planetarium: Families, children and school groups enjoy learning about astronomy and what to spot in the night sky in these StarLab shows. The preschool Twinkle Tots show is a favorite with preschoolers and their families. (See: https://www.facebook.com/monmouthmuseum.org/photos/a.141103837540.120869.140641607540/10154703220407541/?type=3&theater)
• Take a Book/Leave a Book Media Center: Book lovers of all ages enjoy this recent bright and cozy addition to the Children’s Wing where they can escape to read a book or capture a family movie. Visitors are welcome to take a book home with them and to donate books at any time. Local libraries, Museum Members and visitors donate books on a regular basis. (See: https://www.facebook.com/pg/monmouthmuseum.org/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10152403044542541)
• Innovation Laboratory: This S.T.E.A.M. in Action new exhibition Area infuses Art into activities and programs to teach educational programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Programming includes everything from using computer coding and Lego blocks to create robots, simple machine making and design and everything in between. (See: Lego and Robotics Workshop https://www.facebook.com/monmouthmuseum.org/photos/a.141103837540.120869.140641607540/10154779489417541/?type=3&theater) (See: Overview of our children's and family programming here https://vimeo.com/212180622)
Meyer Art & Nature Area:
The Meyer Art & Nature Area opened on Free Museum Day in 2014 to the delight of 300 visitors. The Area boasts a lush certified Monarch Way Station, outdoor wildlife observation, painting and building areas for children, original art by NJ artists, docent led art & nature programs for children, exploration totes full of activities for use by families and a beautiful outdoor classroom and reflective space for visitors of all ages to relax and enjoy.(See Link: https://www.facebook.com/monmouthmuseum.org/photos/a.141103837540.120869.140641607540/10154388591307541/?type=3&theater)
Traveling Trunk Outreach Program:
The Traveling Trunk program brings a Museum experience and object based learning to preschool and elementary school classrooms, after-school and summer programs, senior centers and nursing homes throughout the Central NJ area. This outreach program offers nominally priced two-week rentals for teachers and recreation managers and also Museum docent led presentations at their facilities. Topics include everything from Dinosaurs to Colonial American Living.
Life - Long Learning Series:
The Monmouth Museum fills a need to engage in learning and life enriching activities for NJ baby-boomers and seniors with this popular series of programs. This series includes Monthly Member Monday Mornings, bus trips, art workshops, art exhibition lectures and panel discussions including NJ Emerging Artists Series gallery talks.
(See: Gallery Talks: http://monmouthmuseum.org/in-the-galleries/nilson-gallery/#artisttalks Workshops: https://www.facebook.com/monmouthmuseum.org/photos/a.141103837540.120869.140641607540/10154317541452541/?type=3&theater and Bus Trips: http://monmouthmuseum.org/programs-events/bus-trips/)
Arts for Everyone: Inclusive Arts & Educational Programming:
This directive is a mission driven initiative to welcome people with special needs of all ages, their families, teachers and support persons to partake and benefit from free and discounted arts, cultural and life-long learning programs with focused programs for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. In 2017, the Museum received an Innovator Award for its efforts in providing accessibility to the arts for all populations. (See: Cultural Access Network https://njtheatrealliance.org/news/9th-annual-cultural-access-awards)
Inclusive Policy and Programs:
The Museum's daily inclusive policy recognizes that a disability is, more often than not, a long term or life-long condition; children do not grow out of their disability. We recognize that individuals with special needs and their families have the right to quality arts and educational experiences and we have a responsibility and privilege to give them the best cultural experience possible. Some of our accessibility services include customized tours, free admission for paraprofessionals and support personnel, after hours Sensory Aware Nights for individuals with Autism and their families, Please Touch exhibitions for visitors with vision loss, height sensitive artwork installations, large print programs, audio and written interpretive tags that work with a visitor's smartphone, complementary wheelchairs, sensitivity training for staff and docents and a program for volunteers with Autism. The Museum has become known throughout the special education and adult care community as a location where their classes and groups are welcome and our docents are experienced in the needs of their populations. (See: Art Pride: http://www.artpridenj.com/2017/06/go-ahead-make-the-arts-accessible-for-everyone/)
Recent Accomplishments: The Monmouth Museum strives to present exhibitions of historical and contemporary artistic significance, that are representative of the national and international art trends while also showcasing New Jersey resident artists through the acclaimed NJ Emerging Artists Series. The Museum is dedicated to accessible art exhibitions, inclusive programs and fostering artists and in 2017 received the Innovator Award from the Cultural Access Network, a partnership of the NJ Theatre Alliance and NJ State Council on the Arts for our "Arts for Everyone: Inclusive Arts & Educational Programming."(See: Cultural Access Awards https://njtheatrealliance.org/news/9th-annual-cultural-access-awards)
Fundraising: A new major fundraising campaign was initiated in the fall of 2016, "The Next Big Idea". The goals are first to identify a group of community members, who along with the Board of Trustees, will spearhead a more active fundraising program. This goal is currently in process with personal meetings and cultivation events being executed throughout the summer of 2017. Then funds will be raised to improve our aging 1973 era facility, secure additional endowment funds to ensure the future of the Museum, increase outreach to special needs populations and under-served youth and explore the possibilities of a Museum expansion - namely, an addition which will join the two wings of the current facility to be used for additional workshop programming and as a place to have a meal or snack. In the Spring of 2017, Museum Trustees pledged $62,000 to kick off the campaign.
Free Events: The Museum is proud to offer a very healthy calendar of free events, opening receptions and artist talks to the public. From July 2016 through June 2017 the Monmouth Museum offered 26 free events with the attendance of 1,346 people. Based on our nominal admission fee of $8 per person this equates to $10,768 of completely free arts programming offered to the community.
Blue Star Museum: In a partnership with the National Endowment of the Art, Blue Star Museums and Department of Defense, the Monmouth Museum provides free family admission for active duty military families not only from Memorial Day to Labor Day but all year long.
All Levels include:
- Free unlimited admission to the WonderWing, Becker Children’s Wing and gallery exhibitions during open to the public hours
- Invitations to Members Only “Museum Mornings”
- Discounted Events and Program Tickets
- Receive Museum Invitations, Announcements, and E-Mail Updates
- And More! See here for details: http://monmouthmuseum.org/support/membership/
The Museum is appreciative of the attention and exposure it receives from numerous news outlets, here are some recent highlights:
* Facebook Live/Podcast
Cuba Today: Through the Eyes of Twelve Photographers.
Featuring the works of Barbara Berger Brill, Cyndie J. Burkhardt, Constant Stirling Engman, E Jan Kounitz, Marsha Michel, Nancy J. Ori, Franc Palaia, Karen Rossen, Jay Seldin, Heidi Sussman and Peter Tilgner, Curator.
*Asbury Park Press - New Jersey's museums are local gems
*Atlantic Highlands Herald - NJ Emerging Artists Series Lisa Lackey "Just a Moment"
*Middletown Patch - NJ Emerging Artists Series Jada Fabrizio "Photographic Fairy Tales"