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Newark Museum

- Pauline

My name is Pauline and I live in Northern New Jersey. I used to think that going into Manhattan or flying to another part of the country or the world meant that I was “really travelling,” but I have learned to appreciate and discover places in my own backyard, so to speak. I love to travel because I believe it is the best way to learn more about people and locations that are new to me.  It is a great education I hope to have for a lifetime.

While I will always consider New York City and London as the best cities for museums and art galleries, I have a special place in my heart for the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey. As the largest museum in the state, it houses extensive art collections from the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Dreyfuss Planetarium, and the Victoria Hall of Science, which currently displays four hundred specimens from the Museum’s much larger Natural Science Collection. My latest visit to the museum reminds me that I don’t always have to cross state lines or fly elsewhere to feel transported to another place and time; I can achieve the same effect in my own home state.

You can experience the four seasons in Japanese style by visiting Poetic Pastimes: Japan and the Art of Leisure, which is currently on view until May 6 in the Main Building. For obvious reasons, I enjoy viewing the art pieces representing the spring and summer activities of the Japanese elite the most, such as hurling discs at mountains, picnicking under blossoming cherry and plum trees, fireworks, and just being outside in the Japanese countryside.  It makes me look forward to the spring and summer seasons here in the U.S.A.

I think anyone can find something to like and even love at the Newark Museum, whether it be walking through the Ballantine House to experience how the wealthy 1% of the Victorian era lived, traveling through space while seated in a theater, or checking out modern African art made from recycled bottle caps that look like gold. I am still in awe of their Tibetan collection, which is probably one of the best in the world. The Tibetan Buddhist altar on the third floor alone is an experience not to be missed. I was not allowed to take a photo of it, but I will be back to see it again, and so much more.

The museum hosts a variety of interactive programs for people of all ages interested in the arts and
sciences. For anyone between the ages 13 and 18 interested in combining art with technology and tools, there is a three-part workshop taking place on Saturdays this May and June that does it all. For more information, please visit www.newarkmuseum.org/TeenWorkshops.html.

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