The World of H.C. Bunner

Opening Reception: Noon to 4 p.m., Nov 12, 2017
Nutley Museum

The World of H.C. Bunner: Changing the Tastes of America, from New York to Nutley

NUTLEY MUSEUM EXHIBIT: Nov. 12, 2017 to Dec. 3, 2017

The World of H.C. Bunner: Changing the Tastes of America From New York to Nutley
Please join us at the opening of a terrific and important exhibit at the Nutley Museum, 65 Church St., Nutley, on Sunday, November 12.

H.C. Bunner - Nutley Historical Society exhibit at Nutley Museum

This fall, Henry Cuyler Bunner will be inducted into the Nutley Hall of Fame. To celebrate that event, the Nutley Historical Society is presenting “The World of H.C. Bunner: Changing the Tastes of America from New York to Nutley.” Henry Bunner (1855–1896) was an internationally known editor, author, and poet who lived on Whitford Avenue for the last ten years of his short life.
Items from the Nutley Museum’s collection and on loan from other institutions anchor an exhibit that celebrates (1) the New York literary giant and (2) our Nutley homeboy.

As editor of the incredibly successful and influential Puck magazine, the New York Bunner shone a light on political corruption and promoted the rights of women and the many immigrants, whom he called “the new Americans,” flowing into the country, At the same time, Bunner was one of a prominent author and poet at the powerful Scribner’s Sons publishing house. But his most important influence came from challenging authors to begin basing their literary characters on American models rather than continuing to look to Europe.

Autographed first-edition Bunner books, original copies of Puck, never-before-seen artwork by Puck artists and Bunner family members, hand-written Bunner correspondence and poetry, and many other items explain and celebrate the New York Bunner.
Bunner’s Nutley was also an exciting place at an exciting time. Bunner lived on Whitford Avenue in a home he loved (he called it “the Bunnery”), and commuted by train to his office in Lower Manhattan. His neighbors were some of Nutley’s most influential citizens, including Annie Oakley and Jack Bouvier, and he lived a short walk from Guthries, the original Grace Church, the Highfield Lane train station, and the Nutley Field Club, of which he was a founding member—and Master of Games!

Beautiful period photographs, enlarged postcards, and handwritten documents show off Mr. Bunner’s neighborhood.

Since Annie Oakley was a close friend of Bunner’s (collaborating with him on the 1894 Nutley Amateur Circus, among other things), the museum’s Annie Oakley collection will be presented in that light. New discoveries in the museum’s archives have made our collection one of the most significant in the country.

Even our Guthries store items become relevant, not only because that was where Bunner hung out with the likes of Samuel Clemens discussing politics and eating ice cram, but because each and every phone call the New York editor took or made during his Nutley days was from the oak phone booth that now sits in our museum—it was the only one in town during his time here.

And Bunner was also a part of Nutley’s larger art colony. Over the last few years I have substantially improved and expanded our art collection from that period, and about a dozen works from artists who were friends with Bunner will be featured.

My co-curator is Linda Selman, a New York actress and director who is also a Bunner expert. The entire second floor of the museum will be transformed into this free exhibit. Victorian clothing from the museum’s extensive collection will help set the tone.

At noon on Sunday, November 12, a formal opening will take place on the first floor of the museum. Linda Selman will present some exciting research on H.C. Bunner, after which the upstairs exhibit will open. We are excited that Bunner’s great-grandson is traveling from Florida to be at the event. The building will be nicely decorated, and Victorian-inspired refreshments will be served.

I hope to see you at the opening of this important exhibit at the Nutley Museum honoring the great American editor, author, and poet and now Nutley Hall of Famer, H.C. Bunner.

Nutley Historical Society & Museum, 65 Church Street, Nutley, N.J. 07110


50 Years of Wrestling History

Nutley-50 Years of Wrestling History
7 p.m., Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Join us along with guest speakers Anthony Bowens AKA “Vigilante” who wrestled his first match on April 13, 2013 in his hometown of Nutley and who later went on to win his first title on April 12, 2014, Sal Scarpa, brother of Joe AKA Chief Jay Strongbow who will bring lots of memorabilia to display.

Nutley wrestling coach Mike DiPiano, and former Nutley coach Carmen LoRe who resides in Nutley and was a member of the original “club” wrestling team at Nutley High School (1961) the first varsity wrestling team (1962) and head coach for the NHS wrestling team (1994 to 2007) and won over 100 matches.

Light refreshments will be available.
This event is free of charge and all are welcome!
Nutley Historical Society, 65 Church Street, Nutley, N.J.

Nutley High School Performing Arts Presents Annie Get Your Gun

Nutley High School Performing Arts Presents Annie Get Your Gun

Nutley, NJ—Nutley High School Performing Arts presented three performances of Annie Get Your Gun at Nutley High School in March.

Annie Get Your Gun is based on the life of Annie Oakley—a sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show—and her romance with fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler. When Annie’s skills prove better than Bill’s, business heats up while romance cools, until the final shoot-out ensures a finale that hits the mark.

“The music of Irving Berlin—featuring hits like There’s No Business Like Show Business and Anything You Can Do—makes Annie Get Your Gun truly memorable,” says Musical Director Nicole Monte. Adds Director Austin Vallies, “We’re so excited to work with our multi-talented student cast, crew, and musicians in this fun nod to a dynamic figure in Nutley history.”

In 1892, Annie returned home an international superstar following a five-year tour of Europe, where she performed for many heads of state. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Butler had a home built on Grant Avenue and lived in Nutley for 12 years. They were by all accounts terrific neighbors who were very active in Nutley social life. In 1894 Annie took part in the Nutley Amateur Circus, a local fundraiser to start a Red Cross chapter in town.

In 2016, then Nutley High School senior David Dizdari won a student art competition to design a mural based on the Amateur Circus. Later this year, that mural will be installed in the John H. Walker Middle School and join five others painted by Nutley students in the 1930s—more than 80 years ago!

In the meantime, David’s mural will be on display in the Nutley High School lobby during performances of Annie Get Your Gun. Nutley Museum Director John Simko calls it “a terrific painting from many great student submissions that captures a special moment in Nutley’s rich history,” noting that this is a “fantastic opportunity to see it up close.”

Visitors to the Nutley Historical Society and Museum can also see many of the Amateur Circus studies by the talented middle- and high-school students who took part in the art competition.

The Nutley Historical Society and Museum has a wonderful collection of Annie Oakley memorabilia—autographed photos, correspondence from European royalty, period posters, postcards sent to friends in Nutley, pistols owned by Annie and by Buffalo Bill, a coin nicked by Annie at the 1894 circus, and much more.

Music and lyrics for Annie Get Your Gun are by Irving Berlin and book is by siblings Dorothy Fields and Herbert Fields. This NHS Performing Arts production features a cast of Nutley High School students as well as a live orchestra of students and professionals.

The production staff includes Director Austin Vallies, Musical Directors Austin Vallies and Nicole Monte, Assistant Directors Eric Wdowiak and Michael Gurrieri, Choreographer Kristen Driscoll, Set and Lighting Designer James Gardner, and Sound Designer Henry Meola.