Dick Johnson submitted the following announcement of an upcoming numismatic exhibit in New Jersey.
Numismatists, and certainly medal enthusiasts, will want to attend an exhibit in northern New Jersey coming September 13th through November 15th. There is an Opening Day Celebration on Sunday, September 13th with additional events planned for October and November.
It will take place at the Belskie Museum in Closter, New Jersey, where your humble correspondent is curator of numismatics. (Thus the overzealous and hyperbolic headline above.) It will honor the museum's namesake, Abram Belskie with an exhibit of his prize-winning medallic art, plus a companion exhibit of contemporary medals by American medallists which have appeared or intend to appear in a FIDEM (Federation Internationaie de la Medaille d'Art) exhibition.
Closter is due west of the George Washington Bridge and was home, not only to sculptor Abram Belskie (1907-1988), but also sculptor Marcel Jovine (1921-2003), and somewhat lesser know medallist Joseph Di Lorenzo (1920-2001). In a previous generation it was also the site of the stone carving studio of Robert Alexander Bailley (1880-1961), so the area is well known for sculpture and medallic production.
On Belskie's death the local Lion's Club retrieved the contents of Belskie's studio --sculpture, plaster models, archives and all -- and built a museum in his honor. Thus the three truck-loads of his material ended up in a permanent building named in his honor.
In life, Abram would join a small group of Closter citizens for breakfast at a local restaurant each morning. Out of this friendship and loyalty grew the desire among these citizens, many of whom were members of the Lions Club, to perpetuate his memory. While the Lion's Club built the museum building, the city of Closter donated the land. It is adjacent to the city's Public Library.
I can imagine the camaraderie among the Closter citizens, and also the three medallists, Belskie, Jovine, and Di Lorenzo. Jovine even credits Di Lorenzo for introducing him to medal making. (All three were fellows of the National Sculpture Society, Jovine was even president for two years.) But in addition to the exchange of technology, sculptural tips, and joint trips to New York City, the three had great respect for each other. And perhaps would even lend each other a bag of plaster when a plaster model deadline came due the artist's supply ran out.
Plan to make the trip to Closter. Reception is from 1-5 pm Sunday, September 13 at the Belskie Museum, 280 High Street in Closter, NJ. For more information: www.belskiemuseum.com
If you can't make it that Sunday, plan to come any Saturday or Sunday 1-5 pm, or call for an appointment on another day.
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