and Refining Works, Ed. Balbach and Sons, c.
A Panorama of Prints
Artists' Views of Newark in a Gala Gathering
of Graphic Art from the Special Collections of
the Newark Public Library
April 15 - June 30, 1999
Curated by William J. Dane
In mid-May of 1666, a group of hardy settlers sailed
into what is today called Newark Bay, then up the Passaic
River, and landed in Newark and started a new life in a
new community. In May of 1999, Newark reaches the 333rd
anniversary of the initial settlement and The Newark
Public Library rejoices in this unique capstone date by
presenting two exhibitions of original prints, drawings,
photographs, and posters centering on the city's dramatic
history, personalities, organizations and buildings,
domestic, commercial and industrial. Over one hundred and
fifty images are on display in the gallery on the
Library's Third Floor in a gala grouping entitled:
"Newark: 1666-1999, Artists' Views of Newark in a
Gathering of Graphic Art from The Special Collections of
The Newark Public Library."
Some of the major themes in this show are images of the
city in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries as well as
cityscapes which are familiar today including the
Meadowlands, the old and new courthouses and city hall,
the Cherry Blossom Festival in Branch Brook Park,
industry along the Passaic River, and historic depictions
of the Prudential Insurance Company of America.
Picturesque trade cards from Newark firms at the turn of
the century as well as seasonal cards of greetings from
holidays from various mayors of Newark are on view.
Trade card from
F. Barthman advertising Burt shoes.
Trade card from
Hodge clothier on Broad St.
Autographs from Thomas Paine and Elias Boudinot
from the Revolutionary War period are shown as well as
celebrated Newarkers from modern times such as Sarah
Vaughan and Philip Roth.
Public Library All the Best, Sarah
Original works by many artists make up much of
the unique material selected for this show including work
by 19th century artists Nathaniel Currier (of the noted
firm of Currier and Ives) and Cyrus Durand Chapman as
well as a turn of the century artist from Newark, Peter B.
McCord, whose watercolors of Newark in the Japanese style
are absolutely intriguing.
Beginning of the Old Plank Road, watercolor by Peter B. McCord, c. 1906.
Newark Harbor, lithograph by
Louis Lozowick, 1930.
Twentieth century artists found Newark to be a
never ending source for subject matter for their graphic
art and these include Louis Lozowick who is nationally
celebrated for his lithographic art, Robert Conover who
taught for many years at The Newark School of Fine and
Industrial Art, Joseph Konopka of Glen Ridge, George A.
Bradshaw who lived in Trenton, and Florian Jenkins who at
one time was the exhibition artist at The Library. Others
of note include John R. Quinn, artist and author who is a
specialist in the area long known as The Meadowlands, Tim
Daly's serigraphs and Rudolph Ruzicka who created
beautiful engravings in color of Newark for a book about
the city published by the Carteret Book Club.
Christmas Greeting from Mayor Thomas Lynch Raymond, designed by Rudolph Ruzicka, c. 1915.
Newark Metropolitan Airport in the Early Years, etching by George A. Bradshaw.
All of the materials in the show are from the Library's
Special collections gathered carefully over the past
century and curated by William J. Dane, Keeper of Prints,
Posters and Unique Works on Paper. Very special is a
large, clearly signed portrait of Thomas A. Edison which
he dated Dec. 1, 1902. The world famous inventor came to
Newark in the winter months of 1871 when he was only 24
years old. He leased a part of a building on Ward Street
in the downtown area to manufacture his improved stock
ticker. Other photographs show Newark high school
students on the stage of the Mosque Theater (now Symphony
Hall) and at West Side High School in the early 1940s.
These wide angle group images show young people who were
accomplished in music and these photos are amazing for
their clarity and crispness of detail. Two notable and
large photographs in color show cherry trees in Branch
Brook Park in full blossom at night. They are the work of
Lackawanna Bridge, lithograph by Victoria Ebbels Hutson, 1934.
The overall purpose of this exhibition is summed up by
curator Dane who wrote about the show as follows:
"Hail To Newark! Congratulations on the 333rd
Anniversary of your first settlement in mid-May of 1666!
You are a valiant survivor from the 17th century and are
today a vibrant, venerable and historic municipality on
the cusp of a new century and a new millennium in the
mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America.
Named with affection for the town of Newark-On-Trent in
England, you have witnessed wars, severe economic crises,
and civil strife along with decades of prosperity, good
times and glorious civic celebrations while steadfastly
remaining the home town for thousands upon thousands of
people and multiple business firms and institutions,
large and small. This graphic parade of pictures is
assembled with rampant pride and warm nostalgia for this
grand old place on the Passaic River. We look forward to
the future with optimism and the highest of hopes."
North Newark with a Steam Engine Pulling Freight Cards, watercolor sketch by
Charles E. Luffman, c. 1945.
Although the art works are all on one major
theme, namely Newark, they are different in many ways as
they are large and small in format, vary from full color
to black and white, and show a wide variety of graphic art
techniques including woodblocks, engravings, etchings,
lithographs, serigraphs, drawings, water colors and
photographs, making an exciting and special group of
The exhibit is open during regular Newark Public
Library hours which are Monday, Friday and Saturday from
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please call (973) 733-7745 for