Bus Trip to the Oldest Public Museum in the U.S.

April 29, 2013

Explore the Oldest Public Museum in the U.S.

with Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

New Brunswick, NJ – Visit the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday, June 12, on the last bus trip of the academic year with the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. Christine Giviskos, the Zimmerli’s Associate Curator of European Art, provides additional insight to the docent-led tour. The bus departs promptly at 7:30 a.m. from the Sears parking lot on Route 1 in New Brunswick and returns by 7:00 p.m. The cost of the trip – which includes transportation, admission, and lunch – is $135 for members and $155 for nonmembers. Please call 848.932.6771 or jdauguste@zimmerli.rutgers.edu to register by May 17.

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the oldest public art museum in the United States, was founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, one of the first important American patrons of the arts. Upon arrival, receive a docent-led tour of the special exhibition: “Burst of Light: Caravaggio and His Legacy,” which examines the enduring legacy of the renowned painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and his tremendous influence on 17th-century art. In addition to five works by Caravaggio – including “St. Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy” and “Salome Receives the Head of St. John the Baptist” – the exhibition spotlights nearly 30 paintings by his followers throughout Europe, known as “Caravaggisti.” These works reveal Caravaggio’s impact in the use of dramatic lighting, emotionally compelling compositions, genre scenes, and religious themes in works by such artists as Artemisia Gentileschi, Jusepe de Ribera, Michiel Sweerts, and Francisco de Zurbarán,

The group enjoys lunch at The Museum Café, located inside the museum. It is operated by Healthy Source Catering, owned by veteran chef and Knox Foundation award winner, Marty Pushkarewicz. Lunch includes a salad, a chicken or eggplant entrée, a choice of dessert, and soft drinks. 

Following lunch, visitors explore the museum’s permanent collection at their own pace. Daniel Wadsworth planned to establish “a Gallery of Fine Arts,” but he was persuaded to establish an “atheneum,” a term used in the 19th century for a cultural institution with a library, as well as works of art and artifacts, devoted to history, literature, art, and science. The collection of nearly 50,000 works of art spans 5,000 years. Among the special collections are: the Morgan collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and European decorative arts; the Wallace Nutting collection of American colonial furniture and decorative arts; Hudson River School landscapes; European and American Impressionist paintings; African American art and artifacts; the Serge Lifar collection of Ballets Russes drawings and costumes; and the George A. Gay collection of prints. In addition, the Wadsworth spotlights masterpieces representing the baroque, surrealist, modernist, and contemporary periods, as well as costumes and textiles.

The 2013-14 season kicks off in September. Details will be available later in the summer.


The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is supported by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as well as the income from the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment Fund, and the Voorhees Family Endowment Fund, among others. Additional support comes from the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from other corporations, foundations, and individuals, as well as earned income, also provide vital annual support for the Zimmerli’s operations and programs.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street at George Street on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.

Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and the first Wednesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for 65 and over; and free for museum members, children under 18, and Rutgers students, faculty, and staff (with ID). Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call 848.932.7237 or visit the museum’s website: www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu


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