Paterson Free Public Library 

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Art Collection

Call 973-321-1223 ext. 2294

          In addition to traditional library resources, the Paterson Public Library holds an important collection of 19th century American and European art and exhibits this art for the benefit of the people of Paterson.  Most of the collection was given to the library earlier in this century by philanthropist Ralph P. Ross and Jennie Tuttle Hobart, wife of Garret. A Hobart, Vice-President of the United States under President William McKinley.  Also on display are paintings, sculptures and decorative arts given by other individuals.  Special changing exhibits by local artists are sometimes on view in the upstairs gallery.  Tours of the building and exhibits are available for school children and the general public.
The Architecture 
          The building itself is a valuable work of art.  Completed in 1905, the Danforth Memorial (Main Library) at 250 Broadway was designed by architect Henry Bacon, who subsequently was chosen to design the Lincoln Memorial.  Tours of the landmark building which is on the National Register of Historic Places emphasize its historical and architectural significance.  Bacon's original drawings are available on request.  The Danforth Memorial was a gift of the always generous Mary Danforth Ryle in memory of her father, Charles Danforth.  Mrs. Ryle also donated the previous library building (home of her parents) on the corner of Market and Church destroyed in the Great Fire of 1902 shortly after Mrs. Ryle contributed to a major expansion of the library.  

Mary Danforth Ryle's First Gift to the Library - story from the "New York Times" 

Mary Danforth Ryle's Obituary - from the "New York Times"

Hobart Memorial Collection 
          On permanent exhibit in the library, the Hobart Memorial Collection is composed of twenty-five 19th century paintings, primarily American landscapes and genre scenes by well-known artists. The paintings were donated to the people of the City of Paterson by Mrs. Garret (Jennie) Hobart in 1925 as a memorial to her husband and are held in trust by the Library Board of Trustees.  The collection includes the recently restored portraits of President McKinley and Vice-President Hobart. Garret Augustus Hobart Biography

          Highlights from the collection: 

In the Park/ William Merritt Chase 

(Assembly Room)

The Bath/Eastman Johnson (Assembly Room)
A Brook in the Woods/WorthingtonWhittredge (Assembly Room)
   Can't Make It Out/John George Brown


Ross Collection 
        Ralph P. Ross, one of the city’s leading philanthropists, was an avid art collector and President of the Library Board of Trustees for many years.  In an effort to share his impressive collection with the public, Ross donated a large portion of the paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and rare books to the Library. 
        Highlights from the collection: 


    Children’s Parade/ Samuel S. Carr (Business Office)


    Desert Scene/ Alberto Pasini (Reference)
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