The museum collection of the MCHA represents one of the foremost regional assemblages of decorative art, fine art, and utilitarian items in the United States. It contains more than 30,000 artifacts ranging in date from the 17th century to the present, a growing number of which are available via our eMuseum digital collection. The Association’s holdings are especially strong in documented examples of New Jersey furniture, paintings and drawings, items associated with the Battle of Monmouth, clothing and textile items, and local pottery. Other areas of strength include Chinese Export and English ceramics, an extensive military collection, and numerous examples of folk art, toys, farm equipment, the products of New Jersey industries, and household items.
At any given moment, the Association displays to the public roughly 1,500 items between changing exhibitions in the museum and interpreted spaces in our five historic houses. That means ninety-five percent of its holdings remain in storage, some permanently, in spite of a conscious effort in 2016 to enrich and expand the furnishings plans of the houses. In size and quality, the Association’s decorative and fine arts collections rank in the very top tier among similar institutions in New Jersey, including the Newark Museum and the New Jersey State Museum. Yet very little material culture related to the Garden State is available on the internet to students, researchers, collectors, and dealers.
Digitization of the Association’s museum collections via our eMuseum initiative will change that imbalance significantly as anyone worldwide with access to the internet will be able to find images and information on the exceptional and diverse range of artifacts our holdings contain. This process is estimated to take several years a cost the Association close to $1 million. Learn more about MCHA’s collection and Research Library & Archives to the left, or visit our eMuseum digitized collection in the blue box below. Learn how you can support the digitization project here.