By: Gina Columbus, Asbury Park Press
MIDDLETOWN — Fall will be dazzling at Monmouth Museum, which celebrates its golden anniversary — 50 years — with two themed exhibits.
“Many organizations don’t reach a 50-year celebration,” Vice Chairman Dan Fenski said. “Not only have we accomplished that but we see a very vibrant future and look forward to the next 50 years.”
The museum’s benefit committee has dubbed the anniversary “Circle of Gold,” said spokesperson Julia Fiorino, who said the museum is one of the largest private museums in New Jersey and attrracts about 35,000 visits per year.
Watch the video above to see some of the exhibit.
“The most exciting thing about the museum for me is that since it focuses on the arts, sciences and humanities, it has the capacity to present a broad, interesting range of exhibitions,” Fenski said.
The Society of Gilders’ “Covered in Gold” exhibit, held in the museum’s Main Gallery through Nov. 10, includes fine art and decorative objects with gold and metal leaf, Fiorino said. The Society of Gilders is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the art and craft of gilding — applying thin sheets of beaten metal to a solid surface for decoration.
“This exhibition showcases many of the techniques and talents that are practiced in the fine art of gilding worldwide,” said Fenski, whose piece “Tortoise Treasure” is in exhibit. “The works here are highly stylized and varied in nature, indicating the extensive creative possibilities for this complex and laborious, intriguing and glamorous medium. Every piece that is created has the unmistakable hand of an individual which seems almost more difficult to discover today in this digital age than ever before.”
A second exhibition, titled “50 Years of the Monmouth Museum” will highlight the museum’s history through archived photographs and memorabilia from Oct. 27 through Nov. 24 in the Nilson Gallery. To cap off its golden milestone, the museum is hosting a “Circle of Gold” gala dinner and dance Oct. 19 at the Navesink Country Club — an event that is already sold out, Fiorino said.
The museum, a nonprofit, private organization, was founded in 1963 through the Junior League of Monmouth County. The Junior League, which promotes voluntarism and seeks to develop the potential of women, has been named the Circle of Gold Gala Honoree this year, Fiorino said.
“Many people were moving into the area, lots of families, and they (the Junior League) determined there really wasn’t a place where they could enjoy art,” Fiorino said of the museum’s founding.
Monmouth Museum’s first exhibit was held at the Forrestdale School in Rumson. Over time, exhibits were shown in locations including Asbury Park and Red Bank before the museum moved to its permanent home on the campus of Brookdale Community College 1974. The museum building was constructed through private funds.