Freehold – Monmouth County Historical Association invites its members and the public to a free reception on Sunday afternoon, 4 November, from 2 to 4 pm, to view our two new exhibits entitled “A Family Reunited: The Conover Portraits” and “Polite and Useful Education: Pictorial Needlework Embroidery.” The event will be held at the Association’s museum in Freehold. The seven Conover portraits, ranging in date from 1819 to 1855, have not been seen together since 1902. They depict Tunis V. Conover of Marlboro, his wife Rebecca Crawford Conover, and their three children Hendrick S., Anne B., and William I. Conover. The display has been augmented with a nineteenth-century painting of the family residence in Marlboro, and an exceptional pictorial sampler worked by Rebecca at a young age.
Eight examples of pictorial needlework from the Association’s permanent collection have also been put on the public view, most for the very first time. They include mourning pictures, scenes from Old and New Testament texts, a fire screen panel dated 1706, and a skillfully done picture of “Locustwood,” a large residence in Middletown village built in 1830 – 1832, that was worked by a descendant in 1985.
Bernadette Rogoff, former Curator and now a Curatorial Consultant to the Association, will be on hand to discuss the needlework. She will offer a few remarks on the effort required to prepare many of the pictures for display. Joseph W. Hammond, Director of Collections for the Association, will talk about the Conover portraits, how they were dispersed more than 100 years ago, and the coincidences that brought them back together again for this special exhibit.
Guests can also view our gallery dedicated to the Battle of Monmouth, an event which took place around Freehold on 28 June 1778. This exhibit has recently been reinstalled. Artifacts such as the sword belonging to British Colonel Henry Monckton recovered the next day on the battlefield, cannon balls, a cartridge belt, and other Revolutionary-era items carried by soldiers from Monmouth County have been incorporated into the display. Artwork includes several representations of the legendary Molly Pitcher, the heroine of the Battle of Monmouth, and also of local landmarks associated with the battle such as Old Tennent Church, the Monmouth County Courthouse, and the Covenhoven House.
The museum of the Monmouth County Historical Association is located at 70 Court Street in Freehold. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served.