Riverview, New Brunswick
October 2, 2006
Your entry to the museum leads you into Huber Court, a large open space with classical design, Italianate windows looking down from the galleries above and exposed beams supporting a sky lit roof some 30 feet high. Your visit will probably begin in the glass galleries which, as with all the galleries in the museum, are arranged chronologically. From 2,500-year-old pieces we move through Roman glass and onward—there are thousands of pieces: presentation glass, everyday glassware, commemorative pieces, and artistic pieces. From the ancient pieces, we move quickly to the 17th century and a huge collection of 18th and 19th century and on to the 20th century: Steuben, Tiffany and Quezel. There are also beautiful collections of French art nouveau and modern glass. The effect of the glass collection is absolutely stunning.
With that, we move to the less specialized, and more representative, collections. There are Indian and Islamic art, ancient Greco-Roman and Egyptian, an eclectic collection of Asian work and an interesting African exhibit: carved masks and furniture.
Upstairs, one can go from medieval to the Renaissance… generally interesting works by lesser artists, and on to the later Renaissance where a Tintoretto hangs beside a bust by Bernini. Then on to the 17th century Flemish school with pieces by Rubens and Van Dyke and further to the 18th and 19th centuries. Three galleries are devoted to the growth of American art and then we visit the Impressionists (pieces by Gauguin, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro and Monet) to the 20th century. There are a number of galleries of modern art which include pieces by Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol.
Leaving the paintings behind, we go on to photography, part of which is a wonderful collection of Civil War work, including Gardiner’s series of the execution of the Lincoln conspirators. Other galleries display collections of porcelain and 19th century American neoclassical sculpture.
It’s really almost too much and it took us three hours… but we enjoyed it immensely. And the glass collection. Who knew? Upon entry, you will be given a free audio guide for the numbered selections. We found that most of the paintings were well described in the accompanying descriptions on the walls. The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, admission is by donation. Regular admission is $7 adult (2006). From the beach take I-264 to exit 11B. Continue on East Brambleton to Boush Street. Turn left on W. Olney Road; there is free parking on site.
From journal Wasting Away in Virginia Beach