Exhibits Archive

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Vase, by Ronny May Henderson Gordon

Diversity in Sand and Clay

On view September 20, 2023 to January 10, 2024
Above: Vase, by Ronny May Henderson Gordon

The exhibition presents nineteen beautifully-crafted artworks and functional objects made by diverse New Jersey artists in the 19th and 20th centuries that reveal a wide range of styles and artistic vision. Artists used sand and clay from the state’s varied landscapes, although the high-quality clay is long gone.

From North to South Jersey, this exhibition highlights the diversity of artists, craftspeople, and designers who created decorative and functional objects. Nine women and eight men, including Black, Hispanic, Japanese American, and Jewish artists from across eight N.J. counties, made these artworks.

Gardens of the Garden State, by Alice Harrison

Book Arts Roundtable

On view through June 14, 2023

Above: Gardens of the Garden State, by Alice Harrison

An artist’s book is a work of art in book form. The objects encourage readers to rethink the nature of the book and reading in new and unexpected ways.

Presented by Book Arts Roundtable, the exhibited art books incorporate typography, papermaking, paper engineering, bookmaking, design, fine art, graphics, creative writing and digital media. Each displayed book was created by a New Jersey artist and inspired by the Garden State.

Book Arts Roundtable was established to encourage the love of book and paper arts and create a forum for the exchange of ideas, information and instruction about the art of the book. For further information, visit: www.bookartsroundtable.com

Simon Douglas Outside Blacksmith Shop

Simon Douglas: Blacksmith Tools


 African American Heritage Museum, Atlantic City

Born into slavery on a South Carolina plantation in 1843, Simon Douglas served as a body servant to his master (or master’s son) in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He escaped the Confederacy as a bummer (forager) and blacksmith in the Union Army during Major General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign.

In 1866 at the age of 23, Mr. Douglas arrived in Fairview, New Jersey where he settled, raised a family and worked as a blacksmith for 70 years until total blindness forced his retirement. According to a former neighbor and friend, Simon rarely talked about his early years but he loved to discuss horses and proudly said that he was the first African American to cast a vote in Bergen county. During his lifetime, Mr. Douglas witnessed the end of slavery, the era of Reconstruction and Jim Crow laws in his native state and lived long enough to witness the early Civil Rights Movement. He died on March 9, 1950 at the advanced age of 107. Although he never officially mustered, he lived to be the last surviving Civil War soldier in New Jersey.

“The People’s House”
Partnership with Artworks Trenton

On view through November 6, 2019

The Drumthwacket Foundation partnered in July with Artworks Trenton to connect community teens with professional Trenton urban artist Leon Rainbow and assistant artists Sophie Ban and Radek Selski to create three unique installations in the gardens at Drumthwacket. The immersive two-weeks program included an exclusive tour of Drumthwacket and brainstorming sessions at Artworks where the students learned about street art culture before solidifying their ideas into a cohesive design concept. Working together outdoors, the vibrantly colorful murals painted by the students reflect the spirit of community partnership and Drumthwacket, “The People’s House”.

Closed Forms by Toshiko Takaezu: Select Works, March 5 to November 14, 2019

Toshkio Takaezu: Select Works

March 5 to November 14, 2019

Born in Pepeekeo, Hawaii to the parents of Japanese immigrants, Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011) studied art first at the University of Hawaii and later at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Strongly influenced by the Finnish ceramist Maija Grotell (1899-1973) and Zen Buddhism, Toshiko was at the vanguard of the movement to explore ceramic’s possibilities as an independent aesthetic medium. Her signature ‘closed forms’ and torpedolike cylinders embrace the notion of ceramic pieces as artworks meant to be seen rather than used. No longer able to contain, the vessels lose their utilitarian meaning an communicate as pure art.

The works exhibited are on generous loan from The Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University.

Philemona Williamson: Sweet Dreams, 2010, oil on linen, 48 x 60 inches

Philemona Williamson: Select Works

January 23 to May 1, 2019

Eighteen paintings and works on paper by New Jersey artist Philemona Williamson.

Gyre Series: Climate Change Project Photographs by Susan Hockaday

September 12 to November 14, 2018

An exhibit of photographs by Susan Hockaday raising awareness of the devastation of plastic debris upon the environment.

Lincoln & Olden: The President & Governor

Winter/Spring 2017

The exhibit examined the relationship between President Abraham Lincoln and New Jersey Governor Charles Smith Olden during the Civil War through original artifacts, letters, photographs and memorabilia.

Inspire: Everyday People Changing New Jersey

2015 – 2016

The Drumthwacket Foundation commissioned nine New Jersey fine art photographers to photograph eighteen individuals honored by the non-profit organization New Jersey Heroes.

Eureka! Innovation and Invention in New Jersey

September 17 to November 19, 2014

The exhibit showcased, among others, the original bubble wrap prototype machine, the training suit worn by Astronaut Paul Weitz, and an electric guitar once owned by Les Paul as examples of New Jersey innovation. The exhibit launched “Eureka!” the free, on-line S.T.E.M. learning module developed by the Foundation in partnership with New Jersey teachers.

New Jersey Impressions

2013 – 2014

A selection of New Jersey-inspired landscape paintings by artists who live and work in the Garden State.

Photographs by Wendel White

February 2013

The exhibit showcased work from the artist’s portfolio Small Towns, Black Lives, a 13-year project documenting small, historically African American towns and settlements within the southern counties of New Jersey and Schools for the Colored, a continuation of the artist’s journey through the African American landscape.

Watercolor Illustrations of E. B. Lewis

February 2012

A resident of Mays Landing, New Jersey, E.B. Lewis is an award-winning artist who has illustrated more than 50 books for children.