Since 1898, the Monmouth County Historical Association has collected over 30,000 objects relating to Monmouth County life. The collections span over three centuries of the lives of Monmouth County residents of virtually every social and economic background. Many of the objects are on view at the Association’s four historic houses open to the public, and the Association incorporates many of its objects into its changing exhibitions.
Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings, Miniatures, and Silhouettes
Over 1,550 paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints and miniatures cover virtually all periods of American art from the mid 18th- to the mid 20th-centuries, and give an outstanding view of Monmouth County’s evolving visual heritage. Works include Emanuel Leutze’s dramatic Washington At The Battle of Monmouth (1857) and 22 pastel portraits by noted early American traveling artist Micah Williams (1782-1837), the largest publicly-held collection of his works.
The Association’s collection include nearly 900 pieces of furniture, including the 1695 wainscot chair made by Scottish immigrant Robert Rhea; this chair is the earliest documented piece of New Jersey furniture.
Historic Clothing and Textiles
Over 3,500 pieces of historic clothing and textiles include 70 quilts and quilt tops made by Monmouth County women, 105 Monmouth County and New Jersey regional samplers, and one of the earliest American-made sets of bedhangings (1710), as well as an extensive collection of clothing and personal accessories.
The Association holds a highly significant group of regional salt-glazed stoneware by Monmouth County makers, recognized nationally by scholars and researchers. In addition, the collection includes hundreds of examples of English, American, and Chinese Export ceramics.
The Battle of Monmouth and Military Collections
The Association’s collection contains numerous artifacts and objects related to the Battle of Monmouth, fought on June 28, 1778, the largest land battle of the American Revolution. In addition, the Association’s collection contains artifacts, weapons, and personal accessories from those Monmouth County residents who fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War.
The Association’s extensive holdings also include items related to Monmouth County steamboat industry; kitchen and household equipment from the early 18th century to the present day; over 300 pieces of folk art, including local retail signs and carvings; early hand tools and small farm equipment; numerous artifacts from Monmouth County businesses, including the Karagheusian Rug Mill (1906-1961), child-related artifacts including toys, games, and dolls; and an ethnographic collection including archaeological fragments, projectile points, and grinding stones from the Lenai Lenape and Eastern region Native Americans.
For further information on the Association’s collections, or to speak with the Museum Curator regarding a donation of objects to the collection, please call us at 732-462-1466.
Updated 3 May 2016