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Morven Museum & Garden presents Dreaming of Utopia: Roosevelt, New Jersey November 15, 2019 - May 10, 2020

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Mural painted by Ben Shahn at the community building. Hightstown, New Jersey
Opening Reception set for Thursday, November 14, 2019, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

PRINCETON, N.J. - eTradeWire -- Morven Museum & Garden explores the history and culture of Roosevelt, NJ from an experimental immigrant utopia to artist colony.  More than 100 objects from 25 collections shown together for the first time in the latest exhibition, Dreaming of Utopia: Roosevelt, New Jersey, on view November 15, 2019  through May 10, 2020 with an opening reception November 14, 2019 from 5:30 to 7:00  p.m. at 55 Stockton Street, in Princeton.

 "Roosevelt, New Jersey is an interesting iteration of the American story," Morven Executive Director Jill Barry shared recently. "Started as a government experiment to improve the lives of city-dwelling factory workers, the idea of a farming/factory communal utopia quickly soured, and in its place an artist-led Eden emerged. The unique canvas of a constructed modern community fostered the blossoming of a dynamic creative class in the 1950-60s that continues to echo through to modern day."

Included in this exhibition, guest co-curated by Ilene Dube,  are works by legendary artists Ben and Bernarda Bryson Shahn, Jacob Landau, Gregorio Prestopino, Liz Dauber, Rex Goreleigh, Louise and Edwin Rosskam, Sol Libsohn, David Stone Martin and his son, Stefan Martin, Robert Mueller,  as well as contemporary artists Jonathan Shahn, Ani Rosskam, Bill Leech and many others.

"Although working more than 80 years ago, Roosevelt artists addressed issues still very much relevant today: civil rights, economic equality, immigration, labor issues and fair pay, the right to free speech, peace and justice,"  Ms. Dube remarked.

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Dreaming of Utopia will be on view November 15, 2019 - May 10, 2020.

Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ,  is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  General admission to the Museum is $10.00, seniors and students, $8.00.  Friends of Morven and children under 6, as well as Active Military personnel, are free of charge.

For additional information and associated programming visit https://www.morven.org/


Liza & Schuyler Morehouse

Lisa & Michael Ullmann

Rago Arts & Auction Center

Kalkin Family Foundation

This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Morven Museum & Garden received a project grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.


About Morven Museum & Garden

For more than 200 years Morven has played a role in the history of New Jersey and the nation. Originally part of a 5,500-acre tract purchased from William Penn in 1701 by the Stockton family, it is the home of Richard Stockton, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. As well as serving as a Stockton homestead for several generations into the 20th century, Morven was home to the families of Robert Wood "The General" Johnson Jr., and eventually five New Jersey governors, three generations of enslaved families, respective domestic workers, and staff.  Morven Museum & Garden showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Garden State through regular exhibitions, educational programs, and special events.

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Exhibition images available at this link. Please email dlampertrudman@morven.org if any difficulties retrieving them


Photo Captions:

    1. Jersey Homesteads rendering, c. 1936. Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974). Pastel and pencil on paper, mounted on board.  Louis I. Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
    2. Mural painted by Ben Shahn at the community building. Hightstown, New Jersey, May 1938. Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985), photographer. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017776614/>.
    3. Wives and children of the cooperative farm homesteaders, Hightstown, New Jersey, June 1936. Dorothea Lange (1895–1965), photographer. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017762921/>.
    4. Model house nears completion in Hightstown, New Jersey, June 1936. Dorothea Lange (1895–1965), photographer. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017762916/>
    5. Portrait of Bernarda Shahn, wife of Ben Shahn in her Studio, 2001. Mel Leipzig (b. 1935). Acrylic on canvas. Springville Museum of Art.

Media Contact
Debi Lampert-Rudman
Curator of Education and Public Programs

Source: Morven Museum & Garden
Filed Under: Society, Architecture, Arts

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