Trenton Museum Society

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 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

2020-21

President – Joan Perkes
First Vice President – Jane Malloy
Second Vice President – Patricia Allen
Treasurer – Chuck Lorimer
Recording Secretary – Jean Shaddow
Corresponding Secretary – Karl Flesch

Dan Bauer
David Bosted
Diane Ciccone
Deborah Gorczycki
Carol Hill
Joyce Inderbitzin
Jack Koeppel
Linda McRae
Christina Sasso
Sarah Unger
Autin Wright

Assistant to the Board
Sally Baxter

Guest Relations
James Strobel

Trenton City Museum

Mission:  Through its exhibits, collections, educational programs and community activities, 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.

Revised February 2017

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
North American Reciprocal Museum Association
Potteries of Trenton Society
The Tri-State Coalition of Historic Places

Board of Trustees

Second Vice President PATRICIA ALLEN is a retired Registered Nurse with over 50 years of experience in various health care fields. She graduated from Helene Fuld School of Nursing and MCCC with an Associate Degree. Her career growth expanded over the years to management as a coordinator supervisor of Home Health Aides at Life St. Francis. She is a Past Matron of Eastern Star, Princess Leah Chapter No. 23 PHA , a Community Gospel Choir and is currently an active member of the Helping Hands Ministry of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. They assist in the needs of the homeless throughout the city of Trenton and vicinity. She has held positions such as Committee Chairperson, President and Liaison in the various organizations she serves. She possesses a passion for history, especially as it pertains to Trenton.

DAVID BOSTED, serving his third term on the Trenton Museum Society Board, is a retired government attorney. He served as a New Jersey Deputy Attorney General, handling environmental regulations and litigation and also did legal work at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Trenton, NJ, and the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Working abroad, he was sent by the U.S. 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. In the area of education, David drafted the FSM national law of education.

He co-founded in 1997 the International Charter School of Trenton and continues as a volunteer. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Public Charter School Association from 2004 to 2006. He has published over 30 articles on education and school governance. 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. 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.

David has 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 and Regional Planning (MCRP), ’74. He has taught 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 in anonymous surveys of students.

At Ellarslie, David has been curator or co-curator of several exhibits: Celebrated African Textiles, Before There Was Trenton, Ties That Bind: The Aprons of Trenton, The Essential Paul Robeson, and Stanglware: Trenton’s Most Painterly Pottery. David’s current interests are the 24 Cannons at Trenton, Windsor Chairs, and James Monroe.

Corresponding Secretary KARL FLESCH graduated from Villanova University with a degree in math. He retired from the State of New Jersey as an IT manager. He currently works as a part time medical office manager for a practice in the Penn Health Princeton Medicine system. His interests lie in Trenton history and art. When he retired he wanted to help promote Trenton by mainly joining the boards of the Trenton City Museum and Trenton Historical Society. At the museum he recently curated exhibits on Trenton’s Junior No. 1, Cadwalader Park, Trenton Olympians, and Trenton’s Trolleys. He has co-curated other historical exhibits, including two on Trenton Central High School, which holds a special interest to him. For the historical society, he is the creator of their annual Trenton Calendar, a fundraiser for the society. An avid photographer, he was selected to exhibit a photo in Penn Medicine’s juried show, Celebration of Art and Life 2018.

Ceramic artist JOYCE INDERBITZIN started formal art training at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. She learned how to run an active pottery as an apprentice with Cleota Reed in Syracuse and has taken instruction from several nationally known ceramicists. In Virginia, she joined the TFAC as an original member, taught and directed The Art League’s Pottery Workshop for 16 years and taught two years for NOVA. After moving to Pennsylvania, she opened and ran a gallery in New Hope for a couple of years and is now part of Red Tulip Gallery in Newtown. Her work has been shown in institutional installations, used for corporate awards, and has been collected by the Trenton City Museum and worldwide private collectors. Recently Joyce has started painting classes with Robert Seufert.

With family ties that reach back ten generations in the Trenton area, lifelong Pennington resident JACK KOEPPEL has a passion for preservation. His professional career began at the New Jersey State Museum followed by three decades of private work for area museums, private collectors, corporations and universities. Jack brings a lifetime of experience in the field to his volunteer work for the Trenton Museum Society. He served as trustee for the Howell Living History Farm and the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space. As president of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, he was instrumental in establishing a permanent collection. He also served as president of the Pennington Business & Professional Association. Jack’s volunteer time at the Trenton City Museum focuses on working with the permanent collection. He is married and has three children, and one grandchild.

First Vice President 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.

LINDA MCRAE graduated from Ashford University with a B.A. in Organizational Management. She is a retiree of New Jersey Manufacturer Insurance Co. Currently under contract with the Trenton Board of Education working with Special Education students’ grades k-12. She has over 25+ years as a volunteer for the Urban League Guild an auxiliary of the National Urban League , connecting the League to its communities, through raising funds that allow the League to deliver programs that pave the path to secure economic and self-reliance to underserved urban residents. She has held numerous positions such as President, Committee Chairperson and Liaison. She has served as a volunteer for 15+ years with Passage Theatre and Art Works” Art All Night”. She is a member of the St Paul AME Zion Church where she is President of the Lay Council. Developing strong relationships is the foundation of everything she does both professional and personally.

TMS President JOAN PERKES, a Philadelphia native, moved to Bucks County in 1970. She received a B.A. from Temple University and spent time studying in Rome. In her professional life she has been independent, creative and self-employed, opening her first gallery in 1969 in Philadelphia and a satellite gallery in New Hope in 1970. Well regarded in the New Hope area art community, she is now a private dealer. In 2013 she joined TMS as a curator/volunteer and since her arrival she has been responsible for at least five exhibitions and has lent her design skills to the creation of promotional materials. As a member of the TMS board since 2015, she became its president in 2017. She also co-chairs the Art Exhibition and Development Committees. She is serving her second term as a Trustee on the Board of the Trenton Museum Society.

In 2010, she was selected by Herman Silverman, founder of the Michener Museum, to guide his new art venture, the Silverman Gallery in Buckingham, Pennsylvania. She founded, along with Joanne Katsiff and AnnMarie Torres, The Community School of New Hope-Solebury. It continues today as a part of Bucks County Community College.

Joan’s experience in the art world is both national and international. Currently, she makes her home in Solebury, Pennsylvania, and Andalusia, Spain.

Recording Secretary JEAN SHADDOW attended Cook College of Rutgers University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management. A lifelong area resident, she was the Director of Trenton’s Division of Natural Resources for close to twenty years and was responsible for all park and recreation areas and all trees on public lands. After retiring from public service in 2011, she began working at Isles, Inc. where she has served as a Grant Manager for their Youth Institute and, currently, is a Senior Project Manager for Community Planning & Development. Jean is currently serving her third term on the Trenton Museum Society and has served as Vice-President and Treasurer as well as volunteering for several committees. A long-time community volunteer, Jean is a founding member of Trees for Trenton and currently sits on the Trenton Historical Society Board.

In 1973, the same year in which the Trenton Museum Society was founded, SARAH UNGER was an upstate New York kid walking to Saturday morning art classes at her city’s arts, history, and sciences museum—a formative step in her lifelong appreciation of museums and all they offer. Decades later, having started with the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie as an occasional visitor, then member, then volunteer, Sarah is honored to be a part of its mission as a board member, co-chairing the Marketing Committee and serving on the Development Committee.

An experienced nonprofit professional, board member, and volunteer, Sarah has a varied background throughout which marketing communications is a common thread. Having served as development and communications director of the Mercer County social services agency Arm In Arm until 2018, she also has served as board member and board secretary of Family Guidance Center; Steering Committee member of the 1867 Sanctuary in Ewing; president of the Glendale Civic Association in Ewing; involved and active PTA member; Sunday school teacher; and committee chair with the NJ Communications, Advertising, and Marketing Association.

Prior work includes communications director for Trinity Episcopal Church, a large and active parish in Princeton; copywriter for Coldwater Creek catalogs; freelance writer for local news outlets and business and nonprofit clients; marketing director of Hannover Fairs USA (Princeton-based branch of German trade show producer and venue Deutsche Messe AG); marketing copywriter for Peterson’s Guides, the education and career publishing company; and, prior to moving to Mercer County in 1988, communications positions at an ad agency, opera company, and financial markets publishing company.

A graduate of Syracuse University, where she studied communications in the Newhouse School as well as anthropology, Sarah lives with her husband Michael in Ewing, NJ, where they raised their three adult children.