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Visitor Information

Founded in 1952 by a group of spirited local citizens, the Hunterdon Art Museum has evolved into the region's premier showcase of contemporary art and design as well as the region's home for art education programs. Learn more about the museum.

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Sunday, 11:00AM-5:00PM
Suggested Admission: $5 per person

Office Hours
Tuesday-Friday, 9:00AM-5:00PM

Hunterdon Art Museum
7 Lower Center Street
Clinton, New Jersey 08809-1303
Tel. 908-735-8415

From Route 78 (East or West)
Take exit 15, and bear right onto Route 173 East. Turn left at the Exxon Station and Clinton House and go over the yellow bridge. The museum is the stone mill immediately on the left. If the museum's parking lot is full, proceed on Lower Center Street to a municipal parking lot.

Get driving directions »

Public Transportation

The Hunterdon Art Museum is a wheelchair accessible space. Publications are available in large print. Patrons who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired may contact the Museum through the New Jersey Relay Service at (TTY)1.800.852.7899

About the Museum

About1.jpgFounded in 1952 by a group of spirited local citizens, the Hunterdon Art Museum has evolved into the region's premier showcase of contemporary art and design. The museum's changing exhibitions feature the work of emerging and established artists, and showcase the museum's collection of works on paper. A vibrant education program includes studio classes, workshops, summer art camps, lectures, docent-led exhibition tours and other interpretive and outreach experiences.

50 Years: The History of the Hunterdon Art Museum

The Stone Mill, home to the Hunterdon Art Museum, was re-built after a fire in 1836 on the site of a flour mill that is said to have ground wheat for General Washington's revolutionary army during its encampment at Morristown, NJ. From 1836 until 1952, the grist mill was in nearly continuous operation. In 1952, it was put up for sale by the owner and miller, Joseph Kreidel, for $10,000. Even before the mill went on sale, James R. Marsh of Pittstown had conceived a plan to create an art center and national school for craftsmen in the old mill.

about2.jpgThroughout its early years, the Art Center (as it was then known) strove to maintain the building's architectural integrity while making it a suitable space for the enjoyment of the visual and performing arts. On March 5, 1953, almost immediately after taking possession of the building, the first stage of renovations began: chutes and machinery were cleared from the first and second floors, cement floors were laid on the first floor and plans were made for more substantial repairs. Architect William M. Hunt of Lambertville worked closely with the trustees to save as much of the mill's historic character as possible. He drew up plans for the renovated spaces in 1953 including areas for a stage, kitchen, stairway, and public amenities.

Under the presidency of Otto Siegmund, who assumed leadership of the trustees after James R. Marsh's death in 1966, important changes were instituted at the Art Center. A grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts made it possible for the center to hire its first executive director, Ann Douglass, in 1970. A new board committee for Special Exhibitions was organized and included ceramic artist Toshiko Takaezu, illustrator Gertrude Espencheid , and artist Katharine Trubek. The Special Exhibitions Committee organized at least two shows a year. Among the exhibitions were solo shows of the works of Lenore Tawney (1970), Tetsuro Sawada (1971), Sergio Campos Mello (1971), Hedda Sterne (1973), and John Vickrey (1974).

There were also intriguing group exhibitions-- among them an Invitational Sculpture exhibition that included Harry Bertoia, Jeanne Miles, Isamu Noguchi, and James Seawright. In 1972 Samuel Dorsky, an important dealer and philanthropist, donated a selection of twentieth century prints to the Art Center. These prints by such well-known artists as Salvador Dali, Red Grooms, Philip Guston, Louise Nevelson, Ad Reinhardt, and George Sugarman greatly enhanced the center's collection.

The 1980's saw expansion in the Art Center's programming and sustained financial support. For the first time, a full-time director oversaw all the activities of the center. More classes were offered and educational outreach to the schools became a priority.

Serious exhibitions, extensive press coverage, and a campaign to restore, renovate, and improve the building dominated the decade. The biggest fundraising campaign of the Art Center's history was launched in 1984. The Critical Challenge Campaign raised over $650,000 to pay for much needed repairs to the building and retaining wall. The state of New Jersey demonstrated its support for this campaign by awarding a $100,000 appropriation to the Art Center. Beyond the extensive waterproofing and repair to the building's foundation, plans were drawn for the redesign of the interior to allow for an elevator to make the building accessible to handicapped visitors, secure gallery spaces with improved climate control and security systems, three new studios on the fourth floor designated for adult and children's classes, and storage space for the ever-growing permanent collection. The Children's Art Festival, which was inaugurated in 1989 with the sponsorship of Johanna Farms, brought art to the streets of Clinton.

The newly refurbished Hunterdon Art Center entered the 1990s with an established reputation for excellence in education and exhibitions. The additional exhibition space on the third floor was devoted for much of the year to another new program; the Young Artist's Showcase. This program, supported by Johanna Farms in its first years, gave area students an opportunity to exhibit their talents. With new studios on the fourth floor, the education program flourished and children and adults came to attend a wide variety of classes. In 1997, the center was re-named the "Hunterdon Museum of Art." Between 1988 and 1989 when the renovations were complete, art education classes expanded from 9 to 27. Nationally known local artists were featured in exhibitions, among them Clarence Carter, Adolf Konrad, Carol Rosen, and in 1998 Toshiko Takaezo. Toshiko Takaezu: At Home was installed throughout three floors of the museum and also included one of her beautiful bronze bells on the patio outside. It was both a tribute to her accomplishments as an artist and an appreciation of her many years of involvement in the community and at the museum.

In the same spirit of connecting the local community with art, an unprecedented exhibition about the artistic heritage of Hunterdon County opened on February 14, 1999. Curated for the museum by Anne and John Goodyear, DADA Country unearthed a fascinating history of the county that included Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Marcel Duchamp and Alexina Matisse. The exhibition included the work of these artists (Alexina Matisse was not an artist, but an art historian) as well as works of many younger artists who had been inspired by Dada art. Performances at the museum gave visitors a first hand experience of the free-wheeling, creative, and iconoclastic spirit of Dada. In the fall of 2000, an important exhibition of Larry Fink's photographs of the fashion industry opened at the art museum; in September of 2001 Dr. Hildreth York and Ingrid Renard organized Compelled, a group exhibition of work by artists who created mostly abstract art through laborious and painstakingly slow processes. Compelled earned the Newark Star Ledger's praise as one of the 10 best exhibitions of the year.

Since 1997, the State of New Jersey has renewed its financial support and encouragement and honored the museum three times with the Annual Governor's invitational Tennis Tournament Award. In 2000 the generous bequest of Helen Tomson and a partial match by the State's Cultural Trust created an endowment. This was enhanced by an additional bequest in 2003 from the estate of Elizabeth Fosbinder.

In the twenty-first century the Hunterdon Art Museum continues to produce programs of excellence, to expand its educational mission, and to bring nationally and locally significant artists to the attention of our visitors. The Museum now offers more than 200 classes and workshops annually for children and adults and provides an artist-in-residence program to area schools. In 2010, the museum began the Peters Valley Craft Center/Hunterdon Art Museum Partnership, an annual series of workshops taught by Peters Valley faculty at the museum. A tagline, center for art, craft & design, was developed for the museum to express the museum's unique focus on those areas and their intersection. The exhibition program has continued to produce notable shows such as Cutters, which was curated by Mary Birmingham and done in partnership with Hunter College in New York City, and Claybodies: Reinterpreting the Figure, curated by Dr. Hildreth York and Ingrid Renard.

Renovations to the beautiful stone mill continue. In 2000 the museum renovated the lobby, moved the entrance back to the Center Street door, and created a new museum shop to sell high quality crafts and design products for adults and children. With a grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities this space later became ArtZone, a place where families with young children can create art while visiting the museum. A state-mandated stabilization project of the Clinton Mills Dam and Dike became the focus of the museum's capital improvements during an extended period from 2004 into 2012. The museum's terrace was renovated at the same time. In 2008 a new roof was put on the building.

During that period the staff grew to include a full-time director of education, an education coordinator, and a development office dedicated to raising funds for programming and operating expenses. A communications coordinator and event coordinator were also added. In 2008 the Hunterdon Museum of Art became the Hunterdon Art Museum.

We look ahead to a future of exhibitions that draw from local, national, and international talent, exciting classes in a wide variety of media, greater educational outreach to area schools, and increased participation between the art museum and the community.

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Museum programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, corporations, foundations and individuals.
Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired patrons may contact the Museum through the New Jersey Relay Service at (TTY) 1-800-852-7899
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