Exhibits at the Library

February 2018

“The Ties That Bind”

Photo of the original Bethel Church of MorristownThe Morris County Heritage Commission and the Morris County Library are jointly presenting “The Ties that Bind: How Race Relations Shaped Morris County and New Jersey, 1688 – 2018: Bethel Church Exhibition” at the County Library in Hanover Township for the month of February, during Black History Month.

The series of panels on display at the County Library explore New Jersey’s history of enslavement of African Americans and the existence of free black communities. It shows how black and white residents either helped each other or stood in the way of equality and equity for all.

The exhibit shows how, at times, the fate of the black and white community was “tied” to each other.

It shows that the “ties that bind” us together as a community can be tight enough to encourage cooperation, or too tight, leading to conflict. With this exhibit, explore how these ties existed and changed over time in Morris County and New Jersey, and consider how those ties manifest now.

This exhibition is in collaboration with and features the Bethel Church of Morristown, which celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2018.

This exhibit is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The exhibition and programming are also made possible thanks to support by the Morris County Heritage Commission.

Laurie Harden – “Urban Gritty”

“Urban Gritty” is a series I have been working on for many years. It has evolved since I first was inspired by a photo from my college days of an old man passing in front of a restaurant. (Duck Soup)

I was captivated by the juxtaposition of men and women in an urban setting. I began a series of paintings of my town, people reflected in the windows of the shops, and the depth of the layers of reality contained therein. (Heavenly Temptations)

As I began depicting scenes from further away (Back To The Garden), I became even more interested in the various street people I encountered. I enlarged my repertoire to include pastels to tell their stories. Graffiti, murals, old posters, signage and neon lights are often implied or abstracted in the newest pieces. (Neon Lights and Helplessly Hoping)

I haven’t said all I want to on the subject so the evolution, and the stories, will continue.


Why exhibit at MCL?
To expand membership in your organization, increase awareness about an important subject, share your collection with other people who share your interests or celebrate a particular event, holiday or anniversary.

What are MCL exhibits about?
We’ve shown all kinds of things! Rock and roll of the 1950s; history of bubble gum; an outstanding doll collection; service history of the USS New Jersey; musical instruments of the world; work of a local Chinese painting group and editorial and political cartooning.

Who exhibits at MCL?
Public and private institutions, collectors, corporations, historical societies, special interest groups, painters, sculptors, photographers or anyone with a shared interest. MCL hosts local juried art shows (Volunteers for Morris County, Roxbury Art Association &c.).

Where are exhibits displayed?
Our primary gallery runs the length of our 1st floor renovated brick building face. The gallery is roofed with skylights, so is airy, light and feels spacious. There are also elevated gallery views from the stairwell landing, up to the second floor, and a second floor overlook through a large window. Additional exhibit space is available on the 2nd floor, near the computers & periodicals area. Display case is located in the first floor lobby.

How do I contact MCL?
Contact our exhibit staff (973-285-6966) to discuss a possible show at the library.

Exhibit policy & application
NOTE: signed application is required before we can accept items.

When can I exhibit at MCL?
Exhibits are generally scheduled eight months to a year in advance. Scheduling hinges on several factors including the type of exhibit, local and annual events, celebratory months and national holidays.

Can I host a reception for my showing?
Yes! You can reserve either the large or small meeting rooms on the first floor for your event. Library will advertise your reception. You are responsible for room set up and refreshments. Please ask your guests to keep their food & beverages in the room.