Yesterday, the Newark Museum introduced its new name, The Newark Museum of Art.
Museum staff said that the name change was an important part of trying to reshape the institution’s identity and communicate that to the public. Survey data revealed that many members of the general public did not know what type of museum the Newark Museum was. Museum CEO and Director Linda C. Harrison said, “Giving the community a better idea of who we are, our mission, and our vision, gives them more reasons to engage with us.”
Within the art community, the Newark Museum of Art is well respected for its collection of Tibetan art, one of the most distinctive in the Western Hemisphere. The museum also has a broad collection of American art, including Hudson River landscape paintings, Colonial and Federal portraits, and works of American modernism.
The museum seeks to make itself a center of community engagement, and the name change is the first step in that goal. Museum programs will seek to connect art to larger social issues. The parts of the museum that are not focused on art, such as the Ballantine House, a mansion built in 1885, will also be reinterpreted to emphasize new ways of engaging the community. The museum will also implement expanded operating hours in 2020 in order to make the institution accessible to more people.