Montclair Art Museum

Montclair, NJ

(973) 746-5555


Friendly Persuasions: Folk Art from the Collection of The Chase Manhattan Bank

The Montclair Art Museum is welcoming in the new year with a celebration of American folk art. The exhibition Friendly Persuasions: Folk Art from the Collection of The Chase Manhattan Bank will be on view January 27, 1998, through April 26, 1998.

Clothier's Trade Sign - Man, 1897

pressed and painted tin


The show is the result of a partnership with The Chase Manhattan Bank. The bank, under the leadership of David Rockefeller, began collecting contemporary art in 1959. The Chase art collection has grown to approximately 17,000 objects, including 500 pieces of American folk art. Barbara Cate, formerly of the Museum of American Folk Art and in recent years a professor of art history at Seton Hall University, is the guest curator of the exhibition. With the critical collaboration from the Chase Art Program, she has selected 56 objects of the 19th and 20th centuries from the Chase collection.

Friendly Persuasions encompasses a variety of mediums, including paintings, sculpture, weather vanes, decoys, quilts, and trade signs. A handful of objects defy neat categorization and are placed in a special section titled "What's It?" An ironing board from the 1900s, a Parchesi game board made from linoleum and wood, and a set of three manhole cover molds all can be found under this heading. Other highlights of the exhibition include an eight-foot-tall ship figurehead from 1790; a red, white and blue quilt stitched in Ohio in 1909; and a 19th-century life-size doll, which came from a gypsy wagon. In addition, there are paintings from the last half century, such as Cotton Picking Scene by Clementine Hunter, which are personal reflections of the time.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a series of related programs have been scheduled at the Museum. They are: a Gallery Talk with Guest Curator Barbara Cate on Sunday, February 8, 1998, at 3 p.m.; a lecture by Gerard Wertkin, director of the Museum of American Folk Art and author of The Four Seasons: Shaker Life, on Thursday, February 12, 1998, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for Members and $10 for non-members; and Stacey Gershon, Associate Curator of The Chase Art Program, will speak about the collection on Sunday, February 22, 1998, at 3 p.m. In addition, Children's Folk Art Workshops will take place on Monday, February 16, 1998, and Tuesday, February 17, 1998, from 10 a.m. to noon. An opening reception of an exhibition of works created by the children who participated in the workshops will take place on Sunday, February 22, 1998, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Interpretive labels describing each work in the exhibition were written by the fifth grade "Creative I" art class at Montclair's Hillside School. The students have begun learning about folk art and exhibition planning, and have created their own folk art objects, which are on display in the Art School lobby. They will also serve as docents, giving tours to other students who come to see Friendly Persuasions.

This exhibition has been funded by The Chase Manhattan Bank. Funding for all Museum programs is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Museum members.

The Montclair Art Museum is located at 3 South Mountain Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey, 12 miles west of Manhatten. The Museum is accessible by public transportation. For information or directions, call the Museum at (973) 746-5555.

Admission is free to Museum members. Admission for non-members is $5 adults, $4 with a Chase Bank Customer, ATM or Charge card; $4, senior citizens and students with I.D., $3 with a Chase Bank Customer, ATM or Charge card; children under 12, free. Admission to the Museum is free to everyone on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wireless auditory assistance devices are available for hearing impaired visitors. During this exhibition, Chase customers will receive a 10% discount on Museum Store merchandise.

Museum hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday and Thursday. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Sunday Samplers, which are free hands-on workshops for children; decent-guided tours of the Museum's galleries and other programs take place most Sundays, beginning at 2 p.m. Additionally, coffee is offered courtesy of Starbucks on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. ArtLunch lectures take place most Tuesdays at noon and provide information on a work of art currently on display at the Museum. For further information on these programs, call the Education Department at (973) 746-5555, ext. 225 or 221.

Text and image courtesy of Montclair Art Museum.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1998 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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