Newark – America’s Forgotten Jewelry Capital with Ulysses Grant Dietz, Chief Curator Emeritus at the Newark Museum

Episode 5

Ulysses Grant Dietz is Chief Curator Emeritus at the Newark Museum. He previously served as the museum’s curator of Decorative Arts since 1980 and the Chief Curator since 2012. He has been instrumental in expanding and showcasing the museum’s jewelry collection. He has been the curator of more than 100 exhibitions covering all aspects of the decorative arts from colonial to contemporary.

 Mr. Dietz has also published numerous articles on decorative arts, drawn from the Newark Museum’s nationally-known collections of art pottery, studio ceramics, silver, jewelry and nineteenth-century furniture. His most recent publication is Jewelry: From Pearls to Platinum to Plastic, published in January 2017 by the Newark Museum through the University Press of Florida. Previous publications include Masterpieces of Art Pottery, 1880-1930, from the Newark Museum in 2009, and Dream House: The White House as an American Home, released in September 2009 by Acanthus Press in New York.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How the Great Depression caused the American jewelry industry to come crashing down and ended Newark, New Jersey’s industry dominance.
  • Why Newark’s legacy as a hub for jewelry making has faded from public awareness.
  • The process for creating an exhibit and the challenges of displaying small, hard-to-view pieces of jewelry.
  • How the show “Jewelry: From Pearls to Platinum to Plastic” helped re-launch the Newark Museum’s Lore Ross Jewelry Gallery.
  • The greatest marketing challenges facing museums today.

Ways to contact Ulysses:

Episode Transcript

Sharon Berman