Dear Friends,

Spring is my favorite season in Newark. Five thousand world-famous cherry trees blossom an invitation to a new season of growth and renewal (Did you know that Frederick Law Olmstead’s Branch Brook Park has more cherry trees than Washington, D.C.? We see you Newark!).

Spring is also gala season. NMOA’s 2024 Art Ball — Versailles 1973 – was the gala-est of them all, drawing inspiration from our current exhibition, The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway. The marvelous Deborah Riley Draper, award-winning director of the film Versailles ’73, kicked off a dazzling evening that featured emcee Darius de Haas and honored Chancellor Nancy Cantor and artist Willie Cole. Together, we raised nearly $1 million dollars to support Museum programs and services. We were delighted to celebrate our role as an anchor institution in Newark and beyond with our incredible Lead Sponsor, Prudential, and all of the generous supporters who believe in our work.

The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway is on view only until June 2nd — don’t miss it!

While you’re here, be sure to see the spectacular exhibition Bony Ramirez: Cattleya.

Cattleya explores colonialism and resistance through vibrant, large-scale paintings and installations. As part of our Global Contemporary series, the artist offers his perspective on the Caribbean’s rich, complex history and on NMOA’s diverse collection. The Newark Museum of Art was the first museum Bony Ramirez visited when he arrived in the US from the Dominican Republic as a child. A beautiful cycle.

The Newark Museum of Art has been breaking new ground since 1909. We have always done things differently, which has often produced prescient observations about culture and set new practices for museums. We have kept ourselves on the leading edge by welcoming all voices. So I would like you to join us on Saturday, May 18th for Changing It Up: An American Art Convening, a free series of conversations for Museum visitors with contemporary artists and thinkers Terence Hammonds, Erica Lord, Bony Ramirez, Shahzia Sikander, and Seph Rodney. Together we will discuss continuing to challenge conventions in art and in museum spaces. Let new ideas bloom.

Later in that afternoon, there will be a block party to celebrate NOW, Shahzia Sikander’s 8-foot bronze female figure arising from a lotus flower, a symbol of wisdom. This striking sculpture, recently installed in front of The Ballantine House on Harriet Tubman Square, is a wonderful way to call new growth and wonder to the Museum. Please join us!

See you at the Museum,

Linda C. Harrison
Director and CEO
The Newark Museum of Art