Rutgers University Art Museum will spotlight more than 80 contemporary artists in American stories


This fall, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Brunswick is opening a major addition to its permanent collection that offers a variety of perspectives on American art and life through a regional lens.

American Stories: Gifts from the Jersey City Museum Collection, on view from September 1 to December 30, features nearly 100 paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures. The public is invited to a free opening celebration at SparkNight on September 8from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to share this collection with the public,” said Maura Reilly, Director of Zimmerli. “It includes works by some of the most important artists of the past six decades-Emma AmosDawoud Bey, Chakaia Booker, Mel EdwardsYellow Quick-to-See Smith, and others – which, when combined with our Stellar American Art Collection, provides a more complete picture of American art and society.”

In 2018, the Zimmerli expanded the scope of its Art of the Americas collections by accepting the collection of the Jersey City Museum, which closed in 2012. This exhibit is an introduction to more than 80 artists from that collection. One of the most poignant works is Luis Cruz Azaceta’s 1992 print, Lotto: The American Dream, foreshadowing today’s daily headlines about income inequality and the precarious financial conditions of so many. Americans.

Other extraordinary works in the exhibition include a selection of prints made at the workshop of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña in the 1960s and 1970s; Big Daddy Draped (1971), a classic feminist and anti-war painting from May Stevens’ Big Daddy series; Untitled (red head on world map) by David Wojnarowicz, a 1982 painting that is a living meditation on the individual’s relationship and responsibility to a global community; and Juan Sanchez’s Para Don Pedro print from 1992, which combines the image of Pedro Albizu Campos, the hero of the Puerto Rican independence movement, with traditional religious imagery of martyrdom.

Additionally, the exhibit includes a recreation of Sheila Pepe’s Tunnel (2005), an installation of shoelaces and nautical rope that references the mostly immigrant laborers who dug the tunnels between New Jersey and New York, as well as to those who cross them. work in the factories of the city. October 13from 5 to 6.30 p.m., the public is invited to a conversation between Sheila Pepe and the director of Zimmerli, Maura Reilly, around the work of the artist and the exhibition.

American Stories also presents an opportunity for the Zimmerlis to collaborate with the Rutgers-New Brunswick History Department’s Public History Program. The undergraduates researched the artists and composed exhibition labels, which will be in English and Spanish in all galleries.

Additionally, the Zimmerli features two exhibitions drawn from the historical aspect of the newly acquired collection: Picturing Jersey City: Nineteenth-Century Views by August Will and “Beauty Among the Ordinary Things”: The Photographs of William Armbruster.

Will (1834-1910) and Armbruster (1865-1955) played significant roles in the formative years of the Jersey City Museum. They documented the city as it grew rapidly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Will chronicled the changing landscape of his adopted hometown and visually traced its transformation into an urban center, while Armbruster captured the region’s vanishing pastoral landscapes, nostalgically envisioning pre-industrial life.

American Stories: Gifts from the Jersey City Museum Collection is curated by Donna Gustafson, Chief Curator; Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints and Drawings and European Art; and Nicole Simpson, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings; in collaboration with the Public History Program of the Department of History at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. The Zimmerli gratefully acknowledges the contributions of Professor Kristin O’Brassill-

Kulfan and Rutgers undergraduate students Joana Llamosas, Elaine Milan, Sundia Nwadiozor, Amanda Nyarko and Amarillisz Tymofeev. Picturing Jersey City: Nineteenth-Century Views by August Will is curated by Nicole Simpson, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings. “Beauty Among the Ordinary Things”: The Photographs of William Armbruster is curated by Austin Losada, Andrew W. Mellon Post-graduate trainee, 2019-2021.

Support for the exhibitions is provided by the Art Dealers Association of America Foundation, Mark Pomerantz (GSNB ’76), Voorhees Family Endowment, Glen Noland (RC ’70), and Zimmerli’s Major Exhibitions Fund donors: Kathrin and James Bergin, Joyce and Alvin Glasgold, Sundaa and Randy Jonesand Heena and Hemanshu Pandya.


The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses over 60,000 works of art, with highlights in art from the Americas, Asian art, European art, Russian art, and Soviet nonconformist art and original illustrations for children’s literature. The permanent collections include works in all mediums, from antiquity to the present day, providing representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers, New Jersey State University, which is among America’s top-ranked and most diverse public research universities. . Founded in 1766, as one of nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution, Rutgers is the eighth oldest institution of higher learning in the nation.

Admission is free to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. The museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street (at George Street) at the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit station in New Brunswick, halfway between New York and Philadelphia.

The Zimmerli Art Museum is open Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as major public holidays and the month of August. The café is open Monday and Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For the most up-to-date information, including safety protocols, parking and accessibility, visit For updates from Rutgers, visit University-wide COVID-19 information.


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