Monmouth County - Middletown - Faces From Our Past: Portraits From the Permanent Collection

Faces From Our Past: Portraits From the Permanent Collection

This exhibition features a selection of portraits from the permanent collection of MCHA that surveys the styles of portraiture available to residents of New Jersey and elsewhere in the nineteenth century. Those on view range from highly polished works by professional artists from New York and Philadelphia to the colorful efforts of local painters whose work today is considered folk art. Examples include portraits of young children, adults, and those who have reached advanced age. Many of the sitters lived in Middletown, Red Bank, Shrewsbury, and Holmdel, in addition to elsewhere in New Jersey and New York.
The demand for likenesses peaked in the nineteenth century but, after the Civil War, photography generally supplanted the work that was formerly the realm of resident and itinerant painters. Artists represented in the exhibition include Micah Williams from New Brunswick, John Bradley of New York, Robert Street of Philadelphia, famous itinerant Ammi Phillips, and others. Of special interest is a large group of portraits by Harvey Jenkins, Middletown, NJ’s own resident portrait painter from 1849 to his death in 1908.
The Taylor-Butler House, built about 1853, provides a uniquely suitable setting for displaying portraiture. Its high ceilings, gracious spaces and refined architectural detailing accommodate these works beautifully, many of which are quite large.
On view at Taylor-Butler House, Middletown, NJ 
Photo caption: Edward Matthews as a Little Boy, Unknown Artist, Oil on wood panel, ca. 1850. Gift of Lauretta Stillwell Miller in memory of her mother, Laura Stillwell Miller, 1939.
Days of Operation
Our historic houses are currently closed for the season and are scheduled to reopen in May 2019. To schedule a private tour in the off-season please contact Pati Githens at 732-462-1466 x 11 or
Parking Information
Parking available in the MCHA lot behind Taylor-Butler
Adults: $5.00
Seniors: $2.50
Students: $2.50
Members: Free
Children under 6 are free

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