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Talk Provides Insight to Newark Museum’s Founding Director’s Views on Labor and Culture

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 22, 2004

(Mahwah) – Romancing Labor: John Cotton Dana and the Newark Museum” will be presented by Carol Duncan in the Sharp Theater on the campus of Ramapo College of New Jersey on Wednesday, May 5 at 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Duncan is a professor of art history at the College.

John Cotton Dana was a nationally known figure in the early 20th century, famous as an unconventional and outspoken reformer of American public libraries. In 1902, he went to work in Newark as director of the public library. A few years later, he became the founding director of the Newark Museum. Duncan’s talk is about Dana’s efforts to create an entirely new kind of museum, a progressive institution that would draw in and educate Newark’s working class. Duncan explains Dana’s views about labor and how the Newark Museum represented them, subjects that in the industrialized modern world posed ideological difficulties for reformers like him.

Duncan received the New Jersey Prize in Humanities in 1993. She is the author of Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums and The Aesthetics of Power: Essays in Critical Art History.

Romancing Labor: John Cotton Dana and the Newark Museum” is presented as a program in the College’s AIS Colloquium Series. It is sponsored by the School of American and International Studies, the School of Contemporary Arts, and the Berrie Center. The Sharp Theater is located in the Berrie Center. For more information about the program, call 201.684.7416.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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