Dreaming of Utopia: Roosevelt, New Jersey is an exhibit at Morven Museum & Garden in Princeton (Nov 15, 2019- May 10, 2020). It explores Roosevelt’s history and artistic legacy, starting with its creation in the 1930s as “Jersey Homesteads,” a town where immigrant garment workers could live and work. Part of the New Deal, the experimental town failed, but it became home to generations of artists, starting with Ben and Bernarda Bryson Shahn. They arrived in the late 1930s to paint a large fresco mural in what is now the public school, and stayed, buying one of the Bauhaus-influenced government-built houses. Renamed Roosevelt in 1945 to honor the president, the town’s history and work by its artists from the 1930s through the 2010s is on view at Morven.
Dreaming of Utopia was curated by Elizabeth Allan, deputy director and curator, Morven Museum & Garden, and Ilene Dube, writer and guest curator.
Produced by Susan Wallner; Videography by Joe Conlon and Kirk Sohr.