Yeah, the Newark Museum
has artwork coming out
of the woodwork.
We paid a parking meter two quarters for an hour's street parking even though I knew there was a parking lot somewhere nearby.
The directions you get online bring you in through Washington Place, to the front of the Ballantine House and the Newark Museum. There's a park on your right side and on a nicer day perhaps we would have photographed those statues.
When we found the correct entrance door to the museum, we also found the parking lot. My little red wagon would have been a sitting duck next to the park, so I hopped in and drove it around the block to
The parking lot, valet - $6 for five hours - is south on a one-way north street. Kind of figures. No?
We picked a day when virtually thousands of screaming kids came in to hear Abe Lincoln give a talk (as one kid pointed out, 'he's dead') for President's Day.
We headed the opposite direction of the noise.
We began our trek through the galleries. I asked an bored attendant if I could take pictures with my camera. She said yes.
A Painting on the Wall
We mosied along. I took one photo, and then another. Dang if that same bored attendant didn't come over and say NO PICTURE TAKING - ANYWHERE IN THE MUSEUM.
I didn't know it yet, but I probably would have liked a photo of the Campbell soup cases, and a few photos in the beer mogul's mansion.
This modern sculpture is literally coming out of the wall!
Frankly, we were too flabbergasted to even know what this man-coming-out-of-the-wall was all about.
We saw the Tibetan Altar that had been consecrated by the Dali Lama on one of his three visits to the museum. He was really here because there's a photo of him with Mayor Sharpe James - one of about a half-dozen Newark scenes we found.
We saw the Egyptian display, and the Japanese, Korean and Chinese art displays.
You can save yourself a few bucks and a some walking when you take a virtual tour online through the Newark Museum link. It's not the same, but you may want to use it to plan you visit.
It was day time so we didn't bother going to the Planetarium.
We saw some of Edison's early films. They look a lot like my video camera movies. Edison didn't have video tape or automatic shaky-hand stabilizers.
I got a big kick out of the folks coming down the chute at Coney Island about 100 years ago.
A lot of the exhibits were directed at children and asked them questions about culture and customs. Where would your family fit in on this map of ethnic groups in Newark?
I would have expected at least one gallery room dedicated to the grand history of the city of Newark. That is, besides the grandly restored Ballantine House.
If a trip to the big museums in the big city are out of your range, try a local visit to a local museum. Just don't expect to find too much local history - and you can leave your camera home.
Copyright © 2006 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
PS - Not until we posted this missive did we recall what prompted our visit to the Newark Museum in the first place. Two weeks earlier, Terry Teachout wrote in the Saturday Wall Street Journal about a Visit To An Empty Museum. Of course, if you read what he wrote earlier this month and my blog above, you'll see why he's the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal and the music critic of Commentary, and I'm not.
The Newark Museum
NJSPJ 2006 Regionial Conference will have a reception at the Ballantine House on March 31, along with screenings of The Late Editions and His Girl Friday.