Annual Christmas Party

Annual Christmas Party
7 P.M., December 7, 2017


FOOTPRINTS: The Art and Life of Gary Erbe

Lecture and book launch, Dec. 4, 2016

Please join us for a PowerPoint lecture followed by a book signing by


Mr. Erbe will be presenting a newly released book published by The Butler Institute of

2016-Erbe book cover.png

NUTLEY, NEW JERSEY, October 22, 2016 – Please visit the Nutley Museum on Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., for a lecture and book signing by Gary Erbe, nationally known trompe l’oeil artist and Nutley resident.

Mr. Erbe will be presenting Footprints: The Art and Life of Gary Erbe, a newly released book published by The Butler Institute of American Art. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale at the event. Light refreshments will be available and the Nutley Museum will be open for visiting.

About Footprints: The Art and Life of Gary Erbe

This large-format scholarly written volume is hard cover, 300 pages with over 250 illustrations. This is the most comprehensive book written about Gary Erbe, one of America’s foremost trompe l’oiel artists.

In the book, a distinguished group of art historians focuses in depth on the artist’s life and over fifty years of creating an impressive body of work consistent in quality and vision. Contributing writers are Dr. Thomas Folk, Dr. Carol Lowrey, Dr. Christine I. Oaklander, Carter Ratcliff, Dr. Michael W. Schantz and Dr. Louis A. Zona.

Mr. Erbe personally devotes one chapter of this 11-chapter book to the technical aspects associated with painting, including how to prepare canvas like the old masters, a special formula for the oil medium he uses, the proper varnish to use, and the palette.

This first edition book is limited in numbers and a must for art lovers and students of all ages.

“The Nutley Historical Society is thankful to Gary Erbe for the opportunity to premiere this important new book about a major American painter who resides in our town,” says Barry Lenson, Art Director of the Nutley Museum. “Since Gary Erbe and his wife Zeny moved to Nutley in 2009, they have become champions of The Nutley Historical Society. Over the years, Nutley has been home to painters Albert Sterner, Arthur Hoeber, Reginald Marsh, Michael Lenson and others. Of them all, Mr. Erbe is probably the most renowned and respected.”

About Gary T. Erbe

Gary T. Erbe, a self-taught painter, was born in 1944 in Union City, New Jersey, where he maintained his studio from 1972 until 2006. Unable to attend art school, he worked as an engraver to support himself and his family. In 1967, he discovered trompe l’oeil painting and its masters and found his artistic place. He enlarged the scope of nineteenth-century trompe l’oeil painting by adding the illusion of levitation and a near-magical juxtaposition of objects which, in his words, “in reality had no relationship.”

Since Erbe decided to pursue his art full time in 1970, he has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in many of America’s most important art museums. A partial list includes a 40-year retrospective exhibition that traveled to the Butler Institute of American Art, the Salmagundi Club, the Boca Raton Museum of Art and other venues (2008-2009), a solo exhibition in the Grand Gallery of the National Arts Club in New York (2000), and a 25-year retrospective exhibition that was shown at the James A. Michener Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, and other institutions.

Gary T. Erbe has won numerous awards, including the Gold Medal of Honor at the 2007 Allied Artists of America 94th Annual Exhibition, First Prize at the Butler Institute of American Art’s 66th National Midyear Exhibition, and many others. His paintings are held by many museums and private collections.

The Nutley Museum and Historical Society is located at 65 Church Street, Nutley, New Jersey, in a one-room brick school house that was once the town’s only school. The museum houses a collection of town artifacts as well as artworks by former Nutley artists Frank Fowler, Reginald Marsh, Charles Hawthorne, Edward Loyal Field, Michael Lenson, and others. The museum is open for special events and by appointment. Admission is free. For information or to arrange a visit, call (973) 667-1528.

Nutley Historical Society Receives Grant from Wells Fargo

Nutley, New Jersey, October 25, 2016 – The Nutley Historical Society has been awarded a $1,000 grant by Wells Fargo Foundation to support the organization’s mission to promote understanding of Nutley history among the people of Nutley.


The Nutley Historical Society was founded in 1945 when a group of concerned Nutley citizens decided to establish the Nutley Historical Society and Museum in the historic brick Church Street School which is located at 65 Church Street, Nutley.

The beautiful and historic Museum, built in 1875, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the envy of many other civic historical societies in New Jersey.

The Museum holds a series of open houses, lectures, tours and other events that are attended by more than 500 Nutleyites every year, as well as by visitors from other towns and states. Other programs include college scholarships given to Nutley Students, special exhibitions in the Nutley Library and elsewhere, and a vibrant program of other events.

“We truly appreciate Wells Fargo’s support,” said Domenick Tibaldo, President of the Nutley Historical Society. “We will use this grant to produce more high-quality experiences for the people of our town, and to increase outreach and public awareness of our Museum and its mission.”

The grant was awarded as part of Wells Fargo’s Community Connections program, which provides local branch managers the opportunity to make a $1,000 charitable contribution on behalf of Wells Fargo to a nonprofit of their choice.

Wells Fargo Northern New Jersey branches distributed a total of $148,000 in grants to support nonprofit groups, an increase from last year’s $139,000 contributions.

“We host this annual breakfast to celebrate, recognize and say thank you to community heroes such as The Nutley Historical Society for all of their invaluable contributions and dedicated service to empower northern New Jersey neighborhoods over the past year,” said Fred Bertoldo, Wells Fargo’s Northern New Jersey region president. “Each nonprofit grant recipient was identified by our local branches. They see which nonprofits are out in the community making a difference in the areas where many team members and customers are proud to live and work.”

The annual Community Connections program offers Wells Fargo branch managers the opportunity to provide additional grants to local nonprofits of their choice in New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania.

“Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot”

“Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot”

September 15, 2013: 1 p.m.

The Unveiling and First Public Viewing: “Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot,” 
a major painting by one of America’s foremost Trompe l’oeil artists and Nutley resident Gary T. Erbe

Gary Erbe: Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot

Leading American artist Gary T. Erbe will premier his new painting “Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot” at the Nutley Museum at 1 p.m. on Sept. 15. Following a one-day viewing at the museum, the painting will be shown for six weeks at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and then will travel to The Phoenix Art Museum and other museums throughout America.

“Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot” is a large and important new Trompe l’oeil painting that reflects on the life of Annie Oakley, the famous sharpshooter who made her home in Nutley from 1892 until 1903. The composition depicts several of Oakley’s guns, old Nutley publications, iconic images of Buffalo Bill and other historical figures, and even one of the sawdust-filled glass balls that Oakley would shoot from the sky during her sharpshooting demonstrations. A portion of the Erbe painting is reproduced at right.

“The Nutley Historical Society was proud to lend one of Oakley’s pistols and other materials to Gary for possible inclusion in his composition,” says Barry Lenson, Art Director of the Nutley Museum. “I was privileged to visit his studio several times over the last year to see the painting in process. It is an extraordinary work that resonates on many levels. It is a reflection on Annie Oakley’s life but is also Gary T. Erbe’s offering of gratitude to Nutley, his new home town. Its unveiling will be the greatest artistic event in our town’s history.”

In explaining his inspiration for the painting, Gary T. Erbe explains that, “In 2009, my wife Zeny and I purchased a home in Nutley, New Jersey. I soon learned that the block we moved to, The Enclosure, was for many years an artists’ colony. Another discovery that fascinated me was that Annie Oakley and her husband Frank Butler lived on Grant Avenue, only three blocks from our home. They built a house there in 1892. In her later years, she moved to Greenville, Ohio, where she passed away in 1926. After reading her biography, I was so touched that I decided to create a painting as a tribute to this remarkable woman. She was an inspiration to all Americans.”

Gary T. Erbe continues to actively paint and exhibit. To learn more, visit

Jazz Night At the Nutley Museum

Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013

The Nutley Historical Society will host “Jazz at the Museum,” an evening of live music at The Nutley Museum, 65 Church Street, on Saturday, November 9.

Doors open at 7 p.m. There is a suggested contribution of $10 per person for admission. Proceeds go to benefit the Nutley Museum.

A Walk in Memorial Parkway

From the Mud Hole to the Museum

10 a.m. to noon Sunday, May 26, 2013 

Did you know that a sawmill once operated on the Yantacaw River near the Mud Hole playground? Or that generations of artists living on the Enclosure drew inspiration from the river’s beauty?

Did you know that our Yantacaw River marked an important edge of the original 1666 English boundaries of “New Ark”? Or that Town Hall is all that remains of a complex of mill buildings that stretched across the Oval?

Join Nutley Museum Director John Simko for a walk along the Yantacaw River to explore the many roles it has played in our town’s industry, recreation, and history. This rain-or-shine tour begins at 10 a.m. at the Mud Hole (inside Memorial Parkway at Vreeland and Passaic avenues) and follows the river to the Oval, making stops, including the Vreeland House, along the way.

The tour concludes at Nutley’s first brick schoolhouse (now the Nutley Historical Society headquarters and Nutley Museum), where light refreshments will be served and the museum will be open. Articles from our archives related to the tour will be featured.