Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers to Participate in Blue Star Museums

May 22, 2012

New Brunswick, NJ – Today the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012 (please note: the Zimmerli is closed Mondays and the month of August). Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

“Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,500 museums this summer,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year. Especially for families with limited time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy one another and become more fully integrated into a community.”

“With the Zimmerli’s proximity to several military bases in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, we are pleased to offer this opportunity to families who recently may have moved to the area, or longtime residents seeking a new recreational activity,” stated Suzanne Delehanty, director of the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers.

In addition to its permanent collection and rotating exhibitions, the Zimmerli features the family-oriented Duvoisin Gallery, which showcases original illustrations for children’s books. These exhibitions provide not only memorable and delightful pictures of childhood, but also offer an informative glimpse into the labor-intensive creative process of designing books prior to the common use of computerized illustration techniques. From June 1 through 24, Popcorn & Starbaby: Children’s Book Illustrations by Frank Asch highlights these popular bedtime stories. Asch, a New Jersey native, is a noted author and illustrator of more than 65 children’s books, including novels and juvenile nonfiction. He donated these two series of original page design drawings to the Zimmerli in 2011. Beginning July 7, Lynd Ward Draws Stories spotlights original illustrations, watercolors, and woodcuts from the museum’s collection. Celebrated as a founder of the American graphic novel, Ward (1905-1985) illustrated approximately 200 children’s and young adult books in the course of his career. Among the works on display are selections from The Biggest Bear (1952), The Mexican Story (1953), America’s Mark Twain (1962), and Nic of the Woods (1965). Please note that Lynd Ward Draws Stories is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; however, to reserve a class or group tour Tuesday through Sunday, please contact the Education Department, 732.932.7237, ext. 615, at least two weeks in advance.

Admission also is free during Art After Hours on Wednesday June 6 and July 11, from 5 to 9 p.m. Art After Hours is the popular monthly evening series that features docent-led tours of special exhibitions and live music. June 6 highlights Rachel Perry Welty: 24/7 with the band Blithe (doll); July 11 features Aspects of Architecture: Prints of John Taylor Arms and the band Cotton.

“As we enter the third consecutive year of the Blue Star Museums program, we are happy to provide an opportunity for our nation’s service members and their families to connect with our national treasures,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,500 museums across the United States, military families have an unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”

This year, more than 1,500 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 300 new museums this year. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and 70 children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond, Virginia, the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Ohio, the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, California, the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, and the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

BLUE STAR MUSEUMS

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find out which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning. Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov, or Wendy Clark at 202-682-5451.

This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

BLUE STAR FAMILIES

Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable through programs and partnerships like Operation Honor Cards, MilKidz Club and Blue Star Museums. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and the civilians who strongly support them. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit www.bluestarfam.org.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.

ZIMMERLI ART MUSEUM|RUTGERS

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 nineteenth-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.

SUPPORT

The Zimmerli’s operations, exhibitions, and programs are funded in part by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Johnson & Johnson; and the donors, members, and friends of the museum.

LOCATION AND HOURS

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. Please note that because of the July 4 holiday, the Zimmerli remains open late on Wednesday, July 11, 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, Rutgers students, faculty and staff (with ID), and children under 18. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call 732.932.7237, ext. 610 or visit the museum’s website: www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu

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