Founded in 1909, the Newark Museum underwent an extensive four-year, $23 million renovation and expansion program, which was completed in 1989. The design, by world-famous architect Michael Graves, garnered the American Institute of Architects' Honor Award.
The museum complex weaves together 80 galleries of art and science, a miniature zoo, planetarium, gift shops, café, auditorium, sculpture garden, schoolhouse and the Ballantine House, a restored 1885 mansion that is a National Historic Landmark. The house offers a unique opportunity to witness the luxurious Victorian-era lifestyle. Six galleries display decorative objects from the 1650s to the present. The Ballantine House also features spectacular Christmas decorations, and there's an authentic schoolhouse that dates from 1784.
The Newark Museum is incredibly entertaining and interactive. On Thursday evenings in July and early-August, the museum offers Jazz in the gardens as a part of its summer concert series. Or if you are more star struck, check out the daily planetarium shows that take you to another world. Those with a talent for building, will enjoy the makerspace that allows individuals to create things from their own imaginations. While you can't get a beer here, you can check out one of America's first brewers homes at the Ballantine House.
On the more classical side, the museum collection has plenty of interesting pieces to gaze upon. The American Art collection is one of the country's largest with more than 12,000 painting, sculptures and works of art. The Arts of Global Africa exhibit is one of the country's oldest and most comprehensive collections of African art pieces. Venture to the Arts of Asia exhibits and be taken around the continent with pieces from Japan, Tibet, China, Korea and more.
The Newark Museum is a special place where the most educated art enthusiast will enjoy their experience as much as the most enthusiastic history buffs. The kids and adults alike will enjoy the interactive exhibits of science as well. This museum truly has something for everyone.