Learn how Montclair Art Museum holds its own globally in comparison to the National Gallery in London.
Visiting a museum is a classic way to learn about the past, uncover new art and see remnants of a time or place we couldn’t possibly understand being part of. Luckily for Montclair residents, Montclair Art Museum is a beautiful and well-equipped art museum that is located at the top of Bloomfield Ave., on the corner of South Mountain Ave. The Montclair Art Museum is a history-filled, pioneering museum that was famous for being one of the first to collect and showcase American art in the early 20th century. Even when it is nestled into the hilly streets of a New Jersey suburb, the Montclair Art Museum still invokes and sparks the same kind of interest as any other museum. I’ve been lucky enough to experience museums all over Europe, and walking around the Montclair Art Museum is both competitive and comparable with my times anywhere else.
The most comparable place to the Montclair Art Museum is the National Gallery in London. The National Gallery is free to enter, and it displays a plethora of works from the 13th century to the early 20th century. While Montclair Art Museum may not have the same history in its collection, it most certainly expresses the same amount of passion needed to have people come and enjoy looking at the the art. While the National Gallery may have the upper hand in paintings, Montclair Art Museum displays art in a range of mediums that many museums do not have. For example, the 100 Works in 100 Years exhibit brilliants demonstrates how the museum has presented rich, cultural projects for 100 years. That much history and that much art is an inspiring thing to see, especially when it is in your town.
Montclair Art Museum is also home to the American collection. This collection “which started with a gift of 36 paintings from William T. Evans, comprises paintings, prints, drawings, photographs and sculpture dating from the 18th century to the present, and features excellent works by Benjamin West, Asher B. Durand, John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol.” Considering the breadth and diversity of American art over the last couple of centuries, this collection is a treat and an incomparable one at that. The museum also displays the largest representation of American Indian art and artifacts in New Jersey, showcasing unbelievable feats of weaving, pottery, jewelry amongst other forms of art. The art is definitely something that is unique and proud, and not many other museums in the world are able to boast so much quality art from artists in America.
One thing that Montclair Art Museum makes an effort to do is to uplift and inspire young artists. While the bigger, national museums found in European cities present to an informed and interested audience, Montclair Art Museum looks to connect with a younger and perhaps more naive audience. Montclair Art Museum hosts SummerART programs every friday, in which they showcase the creative work of teens and campers in classes they provide.
Europe may be home to some of the most coveted and dazzling museums in the world, but Montclair Art Museum provides things that even the most well funded institutions can’t compete with. Montclair Art Museum proudly creates an unmatched sense of inspiration, America and Montclair.