The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University Announces the Launch of Blue Star Museums

The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University Announces the Launch of Blue Star Museums

Today the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation's cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at

"The Zimmerli is pleased to participate in Blue Star Museums again this summer and offer this opportunity to the many military families in our tri-state region. It's a wonderful resource for families who recently have been transferred and would like to become more familiar with their new home, as well as for residents who would like to learn more about their community," Marti Mayo, interim director of the Zimmerli, observed. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturdayand Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and June 4, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.

The Zimmerli is partnering with the Rutgers Geology Museum to host free activities during a Blue Star Museums Family Day onFriday, June 27. The Zimmerli features a scavenger hunt and photo booth as part of its current exhibition "Striking Resemblance: The Changing Art of Portraiture." The Geology Museum invites visitors to explore its permanent collection with a scavenger hunt, as well as a variety of make-and-take arts and crafts stations. The Geology Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and located in Geology Hall at 85 Somerset Street, one block from the Zimmerli on the Old Queens Campus. Further information is available at

In addition to its permanent collection and rotating exhibitions, the Zimmerli features the family-oriented Duvoisin Gallery, which showcases original children's book illustrations. Through June 22, drawings and watercolors for the 1996 book "Maples in the Mist: Chinese Poems for Children Illustrated by Jean & Mou-sien Tseng" are on view. Inspired by 14 of the most celebrated poets of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), the Tsengs' vibrant depictions capture timeless insights about the world's wonders.

"Bugs & Frogs & Toads! Oh, My! Original Children's Illustrations by Nancy Winslow Parker" opens July 5. The exhibition includes more than 40 preparatory drawings for the books "Bugs" (1987) and "Frogs, Toads, Lizards, and Salamanders" (1990). Parker also coauthored both publications with Joan Richards Wright. Some of the images are playful and humorous; others are scientifically instructive - but all of them pique the viewer's interest about the most diverse creatures on our planet. Please note that these exhibitions are open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and first Wednesday evenings. To reserve a class or group tour Tuesdaythrough Sunday, please contact the Education Department by emailing

This summer, the Zimmerli commemorates the centennial of the beginning of World War One with "'Never such innocence again': Picturing the Great War in French Prints and Drawings," drawn from the museum's collection of European art. The exhibition explores the artistic response to the First World War in France, documenting the impact in one of the countries where many key battles occurred. French artists reacted immediately and passionately by focusing on such topics as the changing nature of warfare, as well as its political and social aspects, emphasizing the humanity behind wartime's realities.

Admission also is free on the evening of Wednesday, June 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. Explore powerful and emotional works of nonconformist art from the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection with the tour "Repression and Response," which begins at 6 p.m. Julia Tulovsky, Ph.D., the museum's Associate Curator of Russian and Soviet Nonconformist Art, leads the group through galleries dedicated to the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of this kind. In 1991, the Dodges donated to the Zimmerli some twenty thousand works (by nearly a thousand artists) created from the mid-1950s through the late 1980s in Moscow, Leningrad, and the former Soviet republics.

"As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums than ever are part of this military appreciation program," said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. "Together with Blue Star Families and more than 2,000 museums, we are proud to help connect military families with the cultural resources in their communities."

"Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year," said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth?Douquet. "It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers."

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children's Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science?Technology Centers. This year's Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children's museums. Among this year's new participants are the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia; The Thinkery children's museum in Austin, Texas; the Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Massachusetts; and Henricus Historical Park in Chester, Virginia.