Collections: Art Collection

Collections: Art Collection

Staten Island Museum has been devoted to the study and collection of art since 1908.

Today, the Art Collection has a strong regional perspective including 19th and 20th century portraits of prominent Staten Islanders as well as landscapes by Staten Islanders. European and American artworks provide an historical framework for the Art Collection, including a portion of the Kress Collection of the Italian Renaissance. In addition to our larger American and European fine art aggregations, our collection includes African, Asian, and Native American Art from antiquity to the present day. The Works on Paper Collection is the largest in the art department, and contains works from such noted local artists as Frederic Cozzens, Cecil C. Bell and John Sloan. We also have works on paper by internationally celebrated artists such as John J. Audubon, Robert Indiana, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Marc Chagall and Andy Warhol.

The types of collections that can be found in the Art Collection are African art, Art of the Americas, Asian art, Pacific Island artpaintings, works on paper, clothing and textiles, sculpture, photography, antiquities, and decorative arts. Feel free to search our online collections databases. Please note that these databases do not represent the entire collection. Please contact our Curator of Art, by email or phone at 718.727.1135, if you have any questions or if you would like to research the collections.

  • African Art

    The Staten Island Museum has over 65 traditional African objects, including masks, ceremonial figures, pipes, stools, musical instruments and weapons. Works represent cultures, such as Dan, Kuba, Bamana, Fon, Benin, Yoruba, Ashanti, Senufo and Dogon from West, Central and North Africa. In addition there is a sizeable collection of small-scale works from Ancient Egypt.

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  • Antiquities

    The museum possesses some 620 antiquities, which embraces the arts of ancient Egypt, the Near East, Greece, and Rome.

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  • Art of the Americas

    This collection represents works by indigenous peoples from the Arctic to South America, and spans almost 2000 years of history, up to recent times (The Jacobsen Gift includes a large collection of contemporary Inuit and Iroquois prints and sculptures). Pieces are made of diverse materials, including ceramic, stone, metal, bone, textiles, wood, feathers, basketry and beadwork.

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  • Asian Art

    The Asian collection focuses largely on works from China and Japan. The Museum has extensive holdings in Japanese woodblock prints, some ink paintings, and small decorative objects. Tea bowls and porcelains as well as exquisite lacquer ware with abalone shell inlay are just a few of the other types of objects to be seen. A stone relief of Dancing Ganesha is a rare treasure from the Pala Dynasty, India.

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  • Clothing and Textiles

    This area includes over 500 pieces representing men’s and women’s social and ceremonial attire and accessories from the 16th to 20th century.

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  • Decorative Arts

    “Decorative arts” is a broad category which includes household items, such as cutlery and porcelains, silverware, glassware, as well as jewelry, and other personal adornments and keepsakes.

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  • Pacific Island Art

    Works from the South Pacific Islands include a Gable Mask from Papua New Guinea, a Solomon Islands wooden bust with seashell inlays, and intricately carved and inlaid works from the Maori of New Zealand. There are also some boomerangs and other weapons from Australia.

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  • Paintings

    The Staten Island Museum has approximately 400 paintings in its collection. Italian Medieval and Renaissance works from the 14th to 16th centuries, largely from the Kress Donation are the earliest works.

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  • Photography

    The museum’s photography collection represents all the phases and processes of this relatively recent (first patented in 1839) art form: From daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes to sepia prints and digital color photography.

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  • Sculpture

    The museum’s sculpture collection spans over 1500 years, including works from Europe, Asia, Africa, Pacific and ancient American cultures.

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  • Works on Paper

    Works on paper include drawings, watercolors, and limited edition prints. This is the largest collection of fine art at the Museum, including 1,400 pieces representing the late 15th century through contemporary artists of regional, national and international acclaim.

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