New Jersey State Museum Showcases Artworks by Ben Shahn
TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey State Museum is set to display four captivating prints by renowned artist Ben Shahn in a mini-exhibition, commemorating the 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail. The exhibition will be on view from April 1 to June 4, 2023, near the Museum's main entrance on the first floor.
Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail, written on April 16, 1963, was a response to a public statement issued by eight white religious leaders from the South expressing concern over his message and methods during the Civil Rights Movement. Addressing each claim, Dr. King's letter passionately advocates for nonviolent campaigns against racial injustice and stresses the importance of individual responsibility in pursuing social change.
In 1965, two years after the letter's publication, Time magazine featured Ben Shahn's portrait of Dr. King on its March 19 cover. Shahn (1898–1969) was an influential American artist of the 20th century, known for his commitment to social and political issues ranging from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Movement. A fervent admirer of Dr. King and an advocate for racial equity, Shahn's art often aimed to shed light on the injustices faced by marginalized and persecuted individuals.
The Museum's extensive collection of Shahn's works includes three additional prints on display in the American Perspectives gallery on the second floor.
The New Jersey State Museum, located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm, with free general admission. For more information, visit www.statemuseum.nj.gov, like the Museum's Facebook page (@NJStateMuseum), and follow on Twitter (njstatemuseum) or Instagram (nj_statemuseum).
The New Jersey State Museum houses over 2 million artifacts across its Archaeology/Ethnography, Cultural History, Fine Art, and Natural History collections. As a center for the exploration of science, history, and the arts, the Museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing stories that inspire curiosity and creativity for the enrichment of communities.
The New Jersey State Museum Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1968, supports the Museum's collections, exhibitions, and programs through fundraising, volunteerism, advocacy, and marketing. The Foundation has received generous support from organizations such as the PNC Foundation, NJM Insurance Group, the Department of State/New Jersey Historical Commission, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The Foundation also operates the Museum membership program and the Museum Shop, offering merchandise related to the Museum's exhibitions, collections, and New Jersey's history and culture, with proceeds supporting the New Jersey State Museum's mission.
About the New Jersey State Museum
Located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, the New Jersey State Museum encompasses three buildings including a state-of-the-art Planetarium and holds over 2 million artifacts in its collections in Archaeology/Ethnography, Cultural History, Fine Art and Natural History. The New Jersey State Museum is a center for the exploration of science, history and the arts. We preserve and share stories that inspire curiosity and creativity for the enrichment of our communities.
About the New Jersey State Museum Foundation
The New Jersey State Museum Foundation was founded in 1968 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) to support the Museum's collections, exhibitions and programs through fundraising, volunteerism, advocacy and marketing. In recent years, the Foundation has received generous support from the PNC Foundation, NJM Insurance Group, Department of State/New Jersey Historical Commission, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, The Henry Luce Foundation, The Capstone Foundation and Princeton Area Community Foundation. The Foundation also operates the Museum membership program, as well as the Museum Shop which sells merchandise related to the Museum's exhibitions and collections, and New Jersey history and culture. Proceeds support the New Jersey State Museum's collections, exhibitions and programs.
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