When most art connoisseurs think about visiting world-class art museums, they probably imagine traveling to Manhattan, Washington D.C., or even Paris. But, in reality, that’s no need to leave the Garden State.
New Jersey is home to hundreds of renowned museums and galleries that showcase a wide array of genres including American, European African, Asian, Islamic and Ancient World art. From paintings and sculpture to glass, photography, and beyond, many local collections rival those housed inside the world’s most-visited museums.
Whether you’re a fan of Cubism, Traditional, Impressionism, Folk, Contemporary, Surrealism, or any other style, you can find it without leaving the state. Many museums also offer lectures, workshops, schools, and children’s camp — so you can learn more about what you’re seeing on the walls and maybe even try your hand at creating your own masterpiece.
New Jersey Next’s series on New Jersey museums begins with art museums. Here are 11 standouts.
Northern New Jersey
Montclair Art Museum has been in operation since 1914. It boasts over 12,000 works of art. MAM has an extensive collection of American artists’ works. It also offers an exhibit of traditional and contemporary American Indian art and artifacts. Montclair Art Museum’s has an art school called Vance Wall Art Education Center and another one named The Yard School of Art. MAM also has programs and children’s camp. Click here to see their e-Museum.
3 South Mountain Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
Morris Museum’s inception occurred when objects were collected from a curio at the Morristown Neighborhood House in 1913. It began as a children’s museum and continues to provide education in art, science, history, and the performing arts with programs and exhibits. Permanent exhibits include mechanical music and automata, American Indian, Dinosaur Den, mammals, and rocks and minerals. Morris Museum has a professional theater producing and presenting children’s theater, Jazz, Blues, musicals, dramas, comedies, and mysteries.
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, NJ 07960
Newark Museum opened in 1909 in the Newark Public Library and is now New Jersey’s largest museum. Collections include American art, decorative arts, contemporary art, Asian art, African art, art from the Americas, and the ancient world in their 80 galleries. The museum also features a planetarium, films, live music performances, lectures, courses, and workshops. It offers a children’s camp.
49 Washington Street,
Newark, NJ 07102
Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum is one of five wildlife museums in the United States. The Blauvelt Art Museum opened in 1957 as a natural history museum. Hiram Blauvelt was a conservationist and a philanthropist who sought to collect wildlife from nature and to display the animals for the public. In 1982 the Board of Directors redesigned the museum to exhibit contemporary artists’ depictions of wildlife. The museum now helps to preserve endangered species and their habitats.
705 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, NJ 07649
Central New Jersey
Grounds For Sculpture boasts 42 gorgeously landscaped acres of beautiful outdoor sculptures. Its 6 indoor galleries have rotating exhibitions. Grounds for Sculpture offers performing arts events and tours as well as classes, speakers, and community events. Try their fantastic gourmet restaurant, Rats. Lifelike sculptures lead the way to the museum when you enter the town.
80 Sculptors Way
Hamilton, NJ 08619
Hunterdon Art Museum resides in a former grist mill and became The Center for Arts in 1952. It exhibits contemporary art, crafts, and design. The permanent collect consists prints including drawings, paintings, and photography. Hunterdon Art Museum also offers art lessons, children’s camp, and workshops.
7 Lower Center Street
Clinton, New Jersey 08809
Princeton University Art Museum dates back to the 1750s. It is home to over 100,000 pieces in all media representing ancient to contemporary and the entire world. Princeton University art museum has an online collections catalogue where you can view a great deal of their artwork. Collections include African art, American art, Ancient Byzantine and Islamic art, Art of the Ancient Americas, Asian art, European art, Modern and Contemporary art, photography, and prints and drawings.
Princeton, NJ 08544
South New Jersey
Heritage Glass Museum The Heritage Glass Museum exhibits historic glass, bottles, and animal glass figurines. The museum’s mission is to retrieve and preserve historic glass to connect to local history. The museum displays antique glass, workers tools, glass company money, South Jersey paperweights, whimseys, fruit jars, demijohns, historical and figural flask, vaseline, depression, and cut Mercury glass. Their extensive handblown south Jersey glass consists of works from Clevenger, Beacon, Downer, Falabella, Macho, Hofbeuer, Larson, Durand, Collini, Ted Ramp, Jersey Bog, Marks, and Iona. Heritage Glass museum also has a well-stocked library about glass blowing.
25 E. High Street (High & Center Street)
Glassboro, NJ 08028
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University was founded in 1966 and is home to 60,000 pieces of art. The museum presents two large exhibits about a theme, a movement in art, or an artist–especially women artists–annually. The museum also offers several cameo shows each year. Their permanent exhibits include Nineteenth-century French art, particularly prints and rare books. Also, Russian art and Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection. In addition, American art, especially prints.
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
New Jersey State Museum was established in by the state in 1895 to collect and exhibit items in natural history, archaeology, and industrial history. The museum’s collections include archaeology and ethnography, cultural history (13,000 artifacts from the 17th century to present), fine art, and natural history. The museum has a SMASH (spectcularly merging art, science, and history) program during which children partake in hands-on activities, experiments, and demonstrations. NJ State Museum has a planetarium.
205 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Noyes Museum of Art is part of Stockton University and exhibits fine art and American art with an emphasis on contemporary and traditional folk art and crafts. They also house a collection of over 3,000 working decoys. The art is displayed in several locations in southern New Jersey: Arts Garage in Atlantic City, Kramer Hall in Hammonton, Stockton Seaview Golf & Spa Resort in Galloway, and at Stockton University. See website for addresses and phone numbers.
Free art museums and galleries:
The Art School at Old Church (Free)
561 Piermont Road Demarest, NJ
Atlantic City Art Center (Free)
New Jersey Avenue & Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ
Barsky Gallery (Free)
49 Harrison Street, Hoboken, NJ
Belmar Arts (Free)
608 River Road. Belmar, NJ (at 7th Avenue & the railroad tracks)
280 High Street, Closter, NJ
2020 Burnt Mills Rd, Bedminster Township, NJ
123 South Elmwood Road in Marlton, NJ
Eilandarts Center (Free)
10 E Chestnut Ave, Merchantville, NJ
George Segal Gallery Montclair State University (Free)
Montclair State University; 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ
Hammonton Arts Center (Free)
219 Bellevue Avenue, Hammonton, NJ
Markeim Art Center (Free)
104 Walnut Street, Haddonfield, NJ
Ocean City Arts Center (Free)
1735 Simpson Ave, Ocean City, NJ
Ocean Galleries – 2 Locations (Free)
9618 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
297 22nd Street, Avalon, NJ 08202
102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ
Perkins Center for the Arts (2 Locations) (Free)
395 Kings Highway, Moorestown, NJ 08057
30 Irvin Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108
339 Reade Street, Perth Amboy, NJ
(732) 826-1690 ext. 4325
440 River Rd, Branchburg, NJ
The Ridgewood Art Institute (Free)
12 E Glen Ave, Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Stedman Gallery; 314 Linden Street, Camden, NJ
61 New Jersey Railroad Ave Newark NJ
University Galleries (Free)
William Paterson University; 300 Pompton Rd Wayne, NJ
68 Elm Street, Summit, NJ 07901
Walsh Gallery (Free)
Seton Hall University; 400 S. Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079
Watchung Arts Center (Free)
18 Stirling Road, Watchung, NJ 07069
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