Arts, Culture, and Sports

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Although women have always produced domestic and folk art to enhance their homes, the evolution of women as public and professional artists has been a continuing process in New Jersey throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Women slowly gained access to education and artistic training, developed markets for the sale of their work, and began to be admitted to artistic forums designed and dominated by men. Examples of the artistic expression of New Jersey’s women exist in public works of art, museum collections and galleries, libraries, public and private buildings, studios and performance spaces. Women of all ages performed hard physical labor in their homes or at work which precluded leisure time or the energy to exercise for pleasure. Formal sport and recreational physical activity for women began to emerge in New Jersey in the later half of the 19th century when some doctors and educators embraced theories of healthy physical exercise for women and dress reformers simultaneously criticized tight corsets and sweeping skirts as unhealthy and restrictive. Women in the growing middle class had leisure time to spend in informal sports such as tennis, bicycle riding, roller skating, golf, and hiking for pleasure. By the turn of the century, public high schools offered organized team sports for girls while women and girls of means involved themselves in competitive sports such as tennis and golf. Gymnasiums, public sport facilities, athletic clubs and teams, and country clubs bear witness to the athletic freedoms women have gained in the 20th century.

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    Summit Playhouse

    Union County, Summit City 10 New England Avenue Summit, NJ Open to Public For more information, call (908) 273-2191 or visit The Summit Playhouse  […]

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    Shady Rest Gold and Country Club

    Shady Rest was the first African American owned and operated golf and tennis club in the United States. Several pioneering African American sports champions visited the club, among them Althea Gibson, who played tennis there, and John Shippen, who served as the club’s golf professional until 1960.

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    Somerset Hall

    Ruth St. Denis was a central figure in the development of the modern dance movement. She spent many of her early years in and around Somerville.

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    Hinchcliffe Stadium

    Eleanor Marie (Egg) Kratiger, known as Eleanor Egg, began her track and field career with the Paterson Girls’ Recreation Program in 1923.

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    Elk Sculpture, Elk Lodge

    This bronze elk, created by Laura Gardin Fraser, was a gift of Arthur Bishop in 1930 to memorialize the former members of New Brunswick Lodge 324 who died in World War I. Artist Laura Gardin Fraser was a prominent early 20th-century sculptor known for both relief and three-dimensional work.

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    Margaret Bourke-White Home

    Margaret Bourke-White was one of the first women to achieve financial success as a photographer, and one of the best-known photojournalists of the 20th century. She grew up in this stuccoed suburban home, an early and excellent example of American domestic architecture influenced by Gustav Stickley and the American Arts and Crafts movement.

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    Kearny Cottage

    Kearny Cottage, in addition to being the home of United States Navy Commodore Lawrence Kearny, was also the home of his mother, Elizabeth Lawrence, who was a celebrated poet around the time of the Revolutionary War and afterward.

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    Historic Morven

    Morven is well known for its association with several important historical figures and events in New Jersey history. Poet Annis Boudinot Stockton, who lived at Morven from the 1750s through the 1790s, was considered one of the most cultured, literary and patriotic women of the Revolutionary period. S