I was on Long Beach Island for the afternoon and had wanted to visit the Barnegat Light Museum on my last trip to the island but it was closed for the afternoon. When I checked the site to see if it was open this weekend, I found that it was and since I had to be in Beach Haven that afternoon I made it my first trip.
The museum is now open ‘by appointment only’ in the off season, so I called the number provided and the President of the Museum Board opened the museum up for me and gave me a personal tour. What an interesting little museum packed with information and artifacts.
The Barnegat Light Museum at 501 Central Avenue
The museum is a former one room school house that was built in 1903 and used by island school children until 1954. The building still houses the original heating unit, a coal burning furnace and books of the children’s notes from school that had been handwritten (now typed) of current events and school notes.
The main attraction is the original light, a 1052 prism lens, for the Barnegat Lighthouse on display since 1927. The glass panels and sheer size and beauty of light shows how it was once the beacon for ships along the New Jersey coast. It had been brought to museum after moving around to various places over the years.
The original Barnegat Light for the Lighthouse
Along the walls are all sorts of local artifacts such as dinosaur bones that had been found in the bay and donated to the museum (the president of the museum said today there are certain laws on this), local housewares from families that lived on the island and various types of fishing equipment.
Display cases filled with local artifacts
There is even a mini display of ‘Pound Fishing”, which is a series of poles and nets are used to catch the fisherman’s prey. This small display shows how it is constructed and used to catch the fish.
There is an extensive display of Duck decoys, showing the island’s past and present as a hunting ground for water fowl. The displays come in all colors and types of ducks.
There is an extensive history of the resort hotels that used to be on this part of the island that had been effected by the changing tides of the island. Like the old lighthouse and lighthouse keepers home, one of the hotels just gave way to erosion. This part of the island just keeps shifting.
Hotels disappeared because of shifting tides
There is a picture display of “Sinbad”, stowaway dog during WWII that became famous from stories written about him.
One beautiful benefit of the museum is the beautiful gardens that surround the museum. The pathways of flowers and decorative bushes are maintained by the Long Beach Island Garden Club. These wondering paths surround the property and especially elegant looking in the back of the building.
The gardens that surround the museum are maintained by the Long Beach Island Garden Club.
In the off season, you can visit the museum by calling ahead and you can schedule an appointment with the staff of volunteers that work at the museum.
I arranged a trip at the last minute and the president of the museum gave me a personal tour and history of the museum that was so interesting. It was nice to see the museum on a one on one basis.
It is such an interesting piece of Jersey Shore history.
Fee: Adults $22.00/Seniors (over 65) $14.00/Current Students with ID $13.00/Free to Members and Children under 12 accompanied by a parent. Free on Friday Nights from 7:00pm-9:00pm. Discount for people with disabilities $13.00-Caregiver Free.
What I love about the Morgan Library & Museum is the level of sophistication and quality of their exhibitions. The museum really makes you think when you tour their galleries and attend their lectures and gallery talks. Their docents and curators bring an exhibition to a whole new level. I always feel like I am taking a college course and will be graded afterwards. They really make you think about the work or what the author or artist is trying to say.
Two of my favorite exhibitions were the “150th Anniversary Celebration of Alice in Wonderland”, which is why I joined the Morgan Library & Museum. I loved the novel and I wanted to get some ideas for our library’s own celebration. They had the original manuscript written by Lewis Carroll, some original prints and memorabilia from various times including posters, books, artwork and decorative items.
Another wonderful and interesting exhibition was on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” which was a celebration of her life, her works and of the novel through the ages in both context of the novel and in Hollywood. There were various copies of the books in the exhibition as well as the history of the author’s life.
The Frankenstein print
The exhibition showed the clips of the original silent version of the film, the 1931 version with Boris Karloff and the modern version “Young Frankenstein” with Gene Wilder from 1974. I learned from the exhibition that the set used in the 1974 version of the film was from the original 1931 film and it had been in the director’s basement all those years.
Another exhibition that was very interesting was the recent American artist Al Taylor with an showing of his drawings. The works were unusual but really stood out was his time in Hawaii and the drawings that inspired him.
Duck Bondage Study by Al Taylor
Untitled by Al Taylor
American artist Al Taylor
It is nice to walk among the permanent collection of prints in the lower level and to visit the former private areas of Mr. Morgan’s home. It adds to who he was as a financier and as a homeowner. The home was not as elaborate as you would have thought.
I also enjoy the Morgan Cafe on the main level of the museum in the courtyard area of the first floor. The food is a little pricey and a limited menu but the service is wonderful and the quality of the food is very good. You will enjoy the meal and I have heard from other patrons that the Afternoon Tea is very nice as well.
They also have a Dining Room in the Library area that I have heard is very nice as well.
They have a nice selection of books, cards and gifts in their Gift Shop just beyond The Morgan Dining Room. I really like their selections at the holidays and their theme books to the exhibitions especially for the “Alice in Wonderland” exhibition.
It is a nice place to take a gallery talk, then a light lunch in the main hall and then a lecture at night. It’s a great way to spend the day.
The History of the Morgan Library & Museum:
(from the Morgan Library & Museum website)
The Museum is a complex of buildings in the heart of New York City and began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. As early as 1890, Mr. Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary and historical manuscripts, early printed books and old master drawings and prints.
Mr. Morgan’s library was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the library was intended as something more than a repository of rare materials. Majestic in appearance yet intimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings.
The result was an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America’s Age of Elegance. Completed three years before McKim’s death, it is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In 1924, eleven years after Mr. Morgan’s passing, his son, J.P. Morgan Jr., known as Jack, realized that the library had become too important to remain in private hands. It what constituted one of the most momentous cultural gifts in the United States history. He fulfilled his father’s dream of making the library and its treasures available to scholars and the public alike by transforming it into a public institution.
Over the years, through purchases and generous gifts, The Morgan Library & Museum has continued to acquire rare materials as well as important music manuscripts, early children’s books, Americana and materials from the twentieth century. Without loosing its decidedly domestic feeling, the Morgan also has expanded its physical space considerably.
In 1928, the Annex building was erected on the corner of Madison Avenue and 36th Street, replacing Pierpont Morgan’s residence. The Annex connected to the original McKim library by means of a gallery. In 1988, Jack Morgan’s former residence, a mid-nineteenth century brownstone on Madison Avenue and 37th Street was added to the complex. The 1991 garden court was constructed as a means to unite the various elements of the Morgan campus.
The largest expansion in the Morgan’s history, adding 75,000 sq ft to the campus was completed in 2006. Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano, the project increases exhibition space by more than fifty percent and adds more important visitor amenities, including a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new cafe and a new restaurant, a shop, a new reading room and collections storage. Piano’s design integrates the Morgan’s three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel and glass pavilions. A soaring central court connects the buildings and serves as a gathering place for visitors in the spirit of an Italian piazza.
The Morgan Library & Museum Mission:
The mission of The Morgan Library & Museum is to preserve, build, study, present and interpret a collection of extraordinary quality, in order to stimulate enjoyment, excite the imagination, advance learning and nurture creativity.
A global institution, focused on the European and American traditions, the Morgan houses one of the world’s foremost collections of manuscripts, rare books, music, drawings and ancient and other works of art. These holdings, which represent the legacy of Pierpont Morgan and numerous later benefactors, comprise a unique and dynamic record of civilization as well as an incomparable repository of ideas and of the creative process.
(From the Morgan Library & Museum website and history)
Open: To Groups on Fridays and Saturdays and to individuals on Saturdays 10:00am/12:00pm/2:00pm
Fee: Free to Individuals/Donations welcome-Groups tours are $100.00 for up to five people with an additional $15.00 fee per person. There is also an administration fee of $25.00 for groups over 20 people.
It is amazing what you discover when you are walking around the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I was exploring the Streets of the Upper East Side for my blog, ‘MywalkinManhattan’ and when walking around the Hunter College Campus came across the Sara Delano Roosevelt Memorial House at 47-49 East 65th Street.
This beautiful brownstone was built as a wedding present to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor and their future family by his mother Sara Delano Roosevelt. It was their New York City residence until they moved to the White House. His mother continued to use the house until her death in 1941 when the home was sold to Hunter College.
Tours are available when the building is open (Hunter College is currently closed) and you can tour the whole house. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
History of the Sara Delano Roosevelt Memorial House:
The Neo-Georgian townhouse was designed by architect Charles A. Platt for Sara Ann Delano Roosevelt in 1907. It originally held “two mirror-image residences with a single facade and entrance. Each floor had its own front reception room with a welcoming fireplace. Rear parlous could be combined through sliding doors
The mansion at 47-49 East 65th Street on the Upper East Side
The house was given to the Roosevelt’s by Franklin’s mother as a wedding gift for them. The house originally two homes and Franklin’s mother had doors put in place so she could enter their part of the home whenever she wanted. The house was used by Sara Ann Delano Roosevelt from its completion in 1908 to her death in 1941 and intermittently by the Roosevelts until the sale to Hunter College in 1943.
The house historical marker
After his mother’s death in 1941, President Roosevelt and his wife placed the house up for sale and a non-profit consortium was organized to purchase the house on behalf of Hunter College.
The Extended Roosevelt family
The house was closed in 1992 and reopened in 2010 after an $18 million renovation. Leslie E Robertson Associates was the structural engineers on this renovation. The building is currently used by Hunter College as the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College or just known as the Roosevelt House.
The inside of the house’s museum
(Disclaimer: This information was from Wiki and I give them full credit for the History of the Roosevelt House).
I was really impressed by the Ukrainian Institute of America on a recent visit. I must have passed this building a hundred times on my way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and never thought twice of it. I was sorry I did as you will miss a lot by not walking in. The galleries are really impressive and the main gallery on the bottom gives you an interesting look at the history of the Ukrainian.
The first floor gallery discusses the formation of the country, a bit about its history and its ties to Europe and to Russia, its religious past and the current state of affairs of the country including its recent split of the eastern sections of the country and Crimea to Russia. Its a country in turmoil considering they want to join the European Union. It is a country in flux and on the cusp of entering the 21st Century with some of its past still tugging at it. Like all countries, it will prevail on the will of it’s people. There is a lot of solid history here and a country ready to enter its future.
The artwork of artist Vasyl Diadyniuk
The second and third floor galleries are full of art work from Ukrainian artists that is on sale and each of the galleries is dedicated to certain artists selling their works at somewhat hefty prices. Still you get to see the developments of the artists both here and abroad.
The forth floor is dedicated to special exhibitions. There are two shows going on now. One is by artist Vasyl Diadyniuk and another show is by artist Alexander Archipenko.
The artwork of artist Alexander Archipenko
The Museum has an interesting history.
Ukrainian Institute of America History:
The Ukrainian Institute of America Inc. is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to showcase and support Ukrainian culture. To that end, the Institute affords the general public an opportunity to learn about Ukraine and how the Ukrainian spirit expresses itself, with special emphasis on the creative arts.
Founded more than fifty years ago by William Dzus, a prominent Ukrainian industrialist and philanthropist, the Institute sponsors:
*Lectures and symposia
The history of the building:
The building that is home to the Institute, the National Historic Landmark Harry F. Sinclair House is one of the few remaining examples of the splendid mansions that prominent citizens of New York City built in the 19th Century. The mansion was built in 1897 for Isaac D. Fletcher, a wealthy banker and broker, by the architect C.P.H. Gilbert. Executed in Gothic Revival style, the building is richly decorated with intricate crockets, carvings, moldings, pinnacles and other exquisite details. Six stories high, partly surrounded by a dry moat, the Institute features stately rooms that are magnificently proportioned and lavishly finished (Institute History).
The C.P.H. Gilbert house
In 1887, manufacturer, Isaac D. Fletcher, commissioned famed Gilded Age architect, C.P.H. Gilbert to design the mansion. When Mr. Fletcher died, left this mansion and his art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which sold it to Harry F. Sinclair, founder of Sinclair Oil Company and also famous for his involvement in the Teapot Dome affair. The last private owner was Augustus Van Horne Stuyvesant Jr., the last descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, who was the first governor of New Amsterdam, today’s New York City bought the house in 1930 and lived here with his sister, Anne. The house was sold as part of the estate when Mr. Stuyvesant died in 1953. The Ukrainian Institute of America acquired the mansion in 1955 (Institute History).
A key goal of the Institute is to continue to preserve this extraordinary fragment of the city’s history for the benefit of all citizens of New York. The house still retains its wooden moldings and the house looks as if its residents just moved out.