"Its future beyond prophecythe City of New Jersey, worthy sister of New York": John Cotton Dana's vision for the Newark Museum, 1909-1929
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA member of America's established cultural elite, John Cotton Dana (1856-1929) aimed to wrest cultural and economic authority from the nouveau riche through his role as the first director of the Newark Museum. In his favorite exhibition, "New Jersey Textiles," he encouraged local immigrant laborers to improve the design of goods that he simultaneously prompted middle-class women to purchase. He imagined that, as a result, Newark's manufacturing sector would blossom without nouveau-riche involvement; the region would soon rival its new-money neighbor, New York City. Under Dana's supervision, Jarvis Hunt (1859-1941) designed the 1926 Newark Museum building, employing the conventions of contemporary office architecture (predating a similar strategy at the Museum of Modern Art) to articulate this vision. The Metropolitan Museum of Art designed a series of exhibitions indebted to Dana's ideas. Ironically, the Metropolitan has received credit for innovations that Dana had designed to challenge New York's preeminence.
Degree ProgramGraduate College