FREEHOLD – The Micah Williams: Portrait Artist exhibition will open with a special Exhibition Preview Party at 6 p.m., Saturday, May 18. The event, to be held under a tent on the museum grounds at 70 Court Street in Freehold, will celebrate the launch of the four-month exhibition which will be open May 18 – September 29.
Traveling portrait artist and New Jersey resident Micah Williams (1782-1837) was a prolific artist who has 272 known existing works. His works are represented in many major museums and are highly sought after by folk art collectors. Yet there has never been an exhibition dedicated solely to the work of Micah Williams.
The Micah Williams: Portrait Artist exhibition will be the first-ever collection of 67 of Williams’ pastel and oil portraits and, seen together, will tell a story about the new America of the 19th century. Monmouth County Historical Association has embraced Williams’ work since the 1950s when a Monmouth County resident published the first of four scholarly articles based on the museum’s collection of portraits. Now, more than 60 years later, the association still holds the largest public collection (23 works) of Micah Williams’ work.
The festive Exhibition Preview Party is planned to take place under a tent on the grounds of the museum at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, May 18. A special auction of a donated Micah Williams portrait will take place at the party. The auction will be facilitated by Andrew K. Holter of Christie’s, New York, and the portrait will be auctioned with no reserve. Tickets are $125 and are available by calling 732-462-1466 ext. 20 or visiting www.monmouthhistory.org.
The community is invited to the public opening 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 19 to tour the exhibition and participate in special activities under the tent. The museum curator will give tours of the exhibition. Children will have the opportunity to draw pastel portraits, have their portrait photographed in the Picture YourSelf section of the exhibition and participate in crafts and other special activities outside under the tent.
The Micah Williams: Portrait Artist exhibition is made possible by support from the New Jersey Historical Commission, Monmouth County Arts Council, Freehold Savings Bank, and individual contributors. A color catalogue for the exhibition will be available for purchase – $45 and $40 for association members – beginning at the Exhibition Preview Party on May 18.
Monmouth County Historical Association is a private nonprofit organization that has been working to preserve Monmouth County history and provide educational opportunities since it was founded in 1898. The association’s museum and library is located at 70 Court Street, Freehold. Museum hours are: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday. The library is open Wednesday through Saturday. For membership or admission fees and further information, please call 732-462-1466 or visit our website at www.monmouthhistory.org.