in 1906 The Drumthwacket Foundation curates exhibits in the residence that showcase New Jersey related historic and contemporary visual art and thematic shows.


Highlights from the Drumthwacket Foundation Collection

Tour the historic residence and learn about the Foundation’s collection of 18th and 19th century furniture, paintings on loan from New Jersey museums and the stunning Sterling Silver Service Set made in 1906 by Tiffany & Co. for the commissioning of the battleship USS New Jersey.

Click an image below to see it larger

Euterpe, 19th century — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

Euterpe, 19th century

Artist unknown.

During the 1994 restoration of Drumthwacket, the painting was part of a mural discovered in the ceiling of the Music Room upon the removal of a modern dropped ceiling. This section was able to be saved and framed. It depicts Euterpe, the goddess of lyric poetry.

Looking Glass, c.1800 — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

Looking Glass, c.1800

Princeton University Art Museum, long term loan

American Classical Flame Mahogany Secretary, c. 1830-1850 — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

American Classical Flame Mahogany Secretary, c. 1830-1850

The secretary is original to Drumthwacket. It was bequeathed by Governor Charles Smith Olden to his niece Cordelia Stebbins.whose descendants consigned it to auction in 2003. It was purchased by the Drumthwacket Foundation and returned to the residence.

Flame Mahogany Tall Case Clock, detail — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

Flame Mahogany Tall Case Clock, detail

Matthew Egerton, Jr. (1769-1836)
Gift of Betty W. Johnson and Douglas F. Bushnell

Matthew Egerton Jr. joined his father’s Mathew Egerton (1739-1802) furniture shop on Burnet Street in New Brunswick, NJ and established it as a leading maker of furniture and clocks in Colonial America. The Foundation’s collection includes several fine examples; each retains the original label of the Egerton shop.

Portrait of Hart Olden — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson
Portrait of Temperance Smith Olden — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

Portraits of Hart and Temperance Smith Olden, c.1810

oil on canvas
Gift of Heather Williams and Mr. and Mrs. C. Donald Carroll

Hart (1767-1841) and Temperance Smith Olden (1772 – 1841) were the parents of Charles Smith Olden (1799-1876) who was elected Governor of New Jersey in 1860 and built Drumthwacket in 1835. The Oldens were Quakers and dressed ‘plainly’ as part of their approach to spiritual life. ‘Dressing Plain” meant, among other things, choosing subdued and solid colors.

New Jersey State Map, 1828 — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

New Jersey State Map, 1828

Gordon, Thomas (American, 1778-1848)
Gift in Memory of Harold W. Pote (1946-2007), Princeton University Class of 1968 & Proud New Jerseyan

In 1822, the New Jersey state legislature commissioned Thomas Gordon to compile and publish an official state map. Six years later, in 1828, Gordon published this remarkable large wall map of the state which was engraved by Henry S. Tanner, E.B. Dawson and W. Allen. Gordon’s map became the standard for accurate and detailed mapping of the state and was used as the basis for other New Jersey maps well into the 19th century.

Sterling Silver Punch Bowl, detail — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

Sterling Silver Punch Bowl, detail

Tiffany & Co.
United States Navy

The punchbowl is part an impressive sterling silver service set made by Tiffany & Co. for the commissioning of the battleship USS New Jersey in 1906 for use in the wardroom. The punchbowl is paneled by festoons and anchors and seated at the base are figures of Liberty (shown) and Plenty as seen on the State Flag.

The portrait of Albert Einstein, c. 1938 — Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

Albert Einstein, c. 1938

Samuel Johnson Woolf (1880-1948)
oil on canvas
Gift of Bernard and Bebe Perliss

The portrait of Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was featured on the April 4, 1938 cover of Time magazine. Einstein’s image appeared on Time’s cover six different times including the December 31, 1999 issue in which he was named the “Man of the Century.” One of Princeton’s most famous residents, Einstein taught and performed research at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ from 1932 until his death in 1955. Physicist Leo Szilard, a close friend of Einstein who also worked at the Institute, lived at Drumthwacket for over a year in the early 1950s. It was Szilard who drafted and urged Einstein to sign the historic 1939 letter to President Franklin Roosevelt warning about German nuclear weapons research. The letter is considered one of the most important missives written in the last 100 years.