Trenton Museum Society
Founded in 1973, the Trenton Museum Society oversees the only museum devoted to New Jersey’s capital city, Trenton. The Museum Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that holds in trust, maintains and seeks to display and increase public access to its large and important collection of historical objects, works of art, books and other documents pertaining to the industrial, cultural, political and civic history of Trenton, from its founding up to the present. Under an agreement with the City of Trenton, the Museum Society collection is housed in the grand Ellarslie Mansion located on the grounds of Trenton’s historic Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cadwalader Park. Ellarslie Mansion, also called the Trenton City Museum, is open to the public, which can view selections from the museum society’s peerless collection, including ceramics created by Trenton’s famous 19th and 20th Century pottery industry, historical and cultural artifacts and work by the region’s roster of accomplished artists.
In recent years, the Trenton Museum Society has become very active in supporting and showcasing the work of contemporary visual artists and musicians from the greater Trenton area, as well as actively using its collections and resources as an educational tool to foster an understanding of Trenton history and instill an interest in the creative arts among students at Trenton’s schools.
The ongoing programs and current collection of the Trenton Museum Society are managed by a staff director and a voluntary board of trustees-a group of committed individuals from the Trenton area with professional backgrounds spanning the worlds of business and the arts, as well as both the public and private sectors, whose mission is also to secure outside funding in order to conserve and augment Museum Society holdings and increase public knowledge of, access to and interest in them.
Board of Trustees
President – Joan Perkes
Vice President –
Treasurer – Jean Shaddow
Recording Secretary – Carolyn Stetson
Corresponding Secretary – Karl Flesch
Assistant to the Board
Trenton City Museum
Mission: Through its exhibits, collections, educational and community programs, the Trenton City Museum preserves and promotes the diverse history, art, and culture of Trenton and the greater Trenton area for the benefit of Trenton residents and visitors.
Vision: The Trenton City Museum is a model museum working to keep the arts, culture, and history of the community alive and relevant and, as a result, helps redefine the perception of the city of Trenton.
We will attain our vision by being financially sustainable, effectively governed, diverse and collaborative.
Adopted February 2011
In support of its mission and vision, the Trenton Museum Society is a proud member of the following organizations:
The American Alliance of Museums
The League of Historical Societies of New Jersey
MID Jersey Chamber of Commerce
Potteries of Trenton Society
The Tri-State Coalition of Historic Places
Trenton Museum Society
Board of Trustees
Marisa N. Benson is a graduate of the School of Diplomacy at Seton Hall University. She works on the International Internship Program for undergraduates at Princeton University. Prior to Princeton, she was a Cultural Program Specialist for the U.S. Department of State. During this period, she contributed to the success of cultural exchange, and professional development programs in the performing, literary and visual arts. These programs included the American Music Abroad Program, the Cultural Visitor and Fellows Mentoring Program, the Cultural Envoy program, and Performing Arts Initiative and the International Writing Program. She is an arts consultant with expertise in cultural diplomacy, arts management, and government relations. She is the founder of ArtsWorldGPS, an arts services company that provides arts services that meet the unique needs of the global and local arts community. ArtsWorldGPS aims to connect arts professionals to one another and bridge inequalities in the arts sector. In Trenton, Marisa founded and produced three monthly series: ArtSpeaks, ArtsTechNJ and the Made in Trenton: Creative Entrepreneurship Program. She also spearheads the master classes for Art All Night and is a member of the Trenton Cultural Resources Network steering committee, the Ewing Arts Commission and New Jersey Emerging Arts Leaders. Most recently, she has embarked on creative place-making projects in Trenton, Orange and Camden, New Jersey. As a speaker, Marisa has presented at conferences in Africa, the Middle East and in the United States on the topics of the value of cultural exchange, professional development opportunities, the potential of online arts portals, the creative economy, and the role of government in the arts. In addition to speaking engagements, she is also a rapper/spoken word artist and performs regularly in the tri-state area, and abroad.
David Bosted is a retired government attorney with degrees from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD), Phi Beta Kappa, Class of ’70, Rutgers Law School, JD ‘74, and Rutgers Graduate School of Policy and Planning, New Brunswick, NJ, Master of City & Regional Planning (MCRP), ’74.. Before retiring in 2014, he was elected President of the American Association of State Policy Services, and hosted the annual AASPS national convention in Atlantic City. He served as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, handling environmental regulations and litigation. He also did legal work at the NJ Dept of Community Affairs, Trenton, NJ and the NJ Dept of Human Services. Working abroad, he was sent by US Dept of State to Ukraine to advise Ukraine on the transition to a mixed economy, after the fall of communism in the Soviet Union. Also, he served as Assistant Attorney General (and Acting AG) for the nation of Micronesia-FSM, 1993-95 drafting the FSM national law of education. He is co-founder and volunteer, 1997-currently, at the International Charter School of Trenton. He served as a member of the Board of Directors, NJ Public Charter School Association, 2004-2006. He has published over 30 articles on education and school governance. In Trenton, David served on the Trenton City Zoning Board for twelve years (both as a member and as Board President) and served four terms as President of the Island Civic Association. Academically, David has has taught college courses at Ramapo State College, Montclair State University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Thomas Edison State College, and The College of New Jersey, and has invariably been highly rated by students. At Ellarslie, David has been curator or co-curator of three exhibits: Celebrated African Textiles, Before There Was Trenton, and Ties That Bind: The Aprons of Trenton.
David C. Chiacchio has been CFSP Funeral Director and Manager of The Chiacchio Southview Funeral Home for more than 35 years. David graduated first in his class from the MCCC Mortuary Science program and is licensed in NJ and PA. He is former President of the Mercer County Funeral Directors Association, former president of the Enrico Fermi Federation, a Select Designated National Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, a former volunteer for the American Red Cross and a former treasurer of the Trenton Museum Society. He has served on the board of the South Broad Street Civic Association aka the Arena Improvement District South in Trenton, NJ and is a current member of the Knights of Columbus #355, the Italian-American Hall of Fame. and many other area organizations fraternal and religious.
Corresponding Secretary, Karl Flesch received a BS degree from Villanova University in Mathematics. Retired from the State of New Jersey Office of Information Technology, he is currently employed as office manager at Monroe Medical Associates. Karl also serves on the board of the Trenton Historical Society.
Carol V. Hill has been a trustee at the Trenton Museum Society for 16+ years and has served on various committees including store chair, PR, garden, exhibits committee (chair), started the annual Holiday Boutique and has been on numerous other committees. A graduate of The College of New Jersey (then Trenton State College) with a BS in art education, she taught at South Hunterdon Regional High School and Mercer County Special Services. She also attended Pratt Institute and Trenton Junior College, later formed Studio Associates Advertising Agency, and retired from Trenton Printing in 2011. She has been a trustee at the Ewing Township Historical Society for many years.
Jane Malloy is a Trenton native and is happy to still reside in the capital. She is a graduate of New York University and currently works in New York City as a Foreign Affairs Analyst. Jane has been a volunteer with “Big Brothers/ Big Sisters” and currently works with “Trenton Reads” a community- based organization that meets weekly to encourage and support reading activities for children in grades K-8. Jane has also been an active volunteer with “Exercise, Eat Always Together (EEAT, Inc.)” a community-based organization that addresses obesity and overweight in children and adolescents.
Dr. Michael A. Newman is a self-employed optometric physician who has been in private practice in Trenton since 1969. He is a member of American Optometric Association, the New Jersey State affiliate of that and a Diplomate of the Cornea Section of the American Academy of Optometry. He has volunteered on numerous professional committees over the years. Community volunteer affiliations include the Trenton Roebling Community Development Committee, board of directors; the Invention Factory, task force member, and for the past two years, Board of Trustee member of the Trenton Museum Society.
President, Joan Perkes received a BA from Temple University and spent time studying in Rome, Italy. Her first gallery opened in 1969 in Philadelphia with a satellite gallery in New Hope, PA. Now a private dealer, she has had experience in most aspects of the business of art. Locally, in 2011, she was selected by Herman Silverman, to guide his new art venture, the Silverman Gallery in Buckingham, Pa. She founded, along with Joanne Katsiff and AnnMarie Torres, The Community School of New Hope-Solebury. It continues today as a part of BCCC.
Treasurer, Jean Shaddow holds a BS degree from Rutgers University’s Cook College in Natural Resource Management. Formerly employed by the City of Trenton for almost 20 years as Director of Natural Resources for the Department of Recreation, Natural Resources & Culture, she was responsible for development and maintenance of Trenton’s parks, recreation areas and urban forest. Jean participates on the Fundraising and Gala Committees as well as helping to oversee the museum store. She brings experience in grant writing and special event logistics to the TMS board. She is currently employed by Isles, Inc. at the Isles YouthBuild Institute as a grants writer and manager. In addition to TMS, she is active on the non-profit boards of Trees for Trenton, the Friends for the Abbott Marsh, and the Cadwalader Park Alliance.
Brenda Lockhart Springsted is a self-employed historic archaeologist and material culture specialist with an MA in Anthropology from New York University and a BA from Brown University, also in Anthropology. Most recently she was employed at Richard Grubb and Associates, Inc. as Lab Director and Material Culture Specialist. She is affiliated with the Register of Professional Archaeologists and has served on the board of the Potteries of Trenton Society since 2004. In addition to teaching Archaeology, Brenda has presented papers at the Society of Historical Archaeology, Council of Northeast Archaeology, Archaeological Society of New Jersey, and American Ceramic Circle. She has worked in a number of museums on collections. In addition to a number of cultural resource surveys from 1975-1981, she has published articles in Northeast Historical Archaeology 1977: 6, American Ceramic Circle 1985: 4, and the Journal of Mid-Atlantic Archaeology 1999: 15.
Recording Secreatary, Carolyn P. Stetson attended Vassar College and graduated from Boston University with degrees in Sociology and English Education. After retiring in 2000 from the West Windsor-Plainsboro Public Schools where she taught English Language Arts for 28 years, she took on volunteering for Trenton cultural institutions as a full time job. She is currently serving in her ninth term as trustee of the Trenton Museum Society and has served as board president four times. She has also served as an officer of her civic association and on the board of Artworks. She was a founding member of Trenton Peace Action, CityArts, and the Trenton Cultural Resource Network and continues to serve as a steering committee member of TCRN. She served as co-chair of Trenton Mayor Jackson’s Transition Team Committee on Arts, Culture and History. She currently serves on the board of the Trent House Association. Among the awards and accolades Carolyn has received, she is most proud of recently being awarded Citizen of the Year by the Trenton Council of Civic Associations.