Reception Wednesday, August 17

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Monmouth County Historical Association will celebrate its newest exhibition Faces From Our Past: Portraits >From the Permanent Collection on Wednesday, August 17 at Taylor-Butler House at 127 Kings Highway. This is the first major exhibition at Taylor-Butler House since the Association acquired the home in 1999. Visitors can view the exhibition Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 1 and 4 p.m.

The celebratory reception will be held on Wednesday, August 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. with Curator of Museum Collections Joseph W. Hammond. The reception is open to the public and refreshments will be served. Although there is no charge for the reception, RSVPs are encouraged. Please call 732-462-1466 x19 or email [email protected]

This exhibition features a selection of portraits from the permanent collection of Monmouth County Historical Association 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’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.

Monmouth County Historical Association, a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898 comprises a Museum, Archives, Research Library in Freehold and Five Historic House Museums located around the county.  The Museum and Research Library is located at 70 Court Street in Freehold. Museum hours are: Tuesdays – Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Research Library hours are: Wednesdays –Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Five Historic House Museums around the County are open seasonally. House Museum hours generally are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  For further information about the Association, please call (732) 462-1466 or visit the web site at

Monmouth County Historical Association received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...