THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN PALACES ON DISPLAY

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10/23/2012

The splendor of the golden age of American palaces will be on display in
an exhibit of photographs and artifacts of the grand estate once known as Shadow Lawn; the mansion that since 1956 has served as administrative offices, classroom, lecture space and elegant centerpiece of Monmouth University's West Long Branch campus - historic Wilson Hall.

Having played the part of getaway cottage for business barons and Summer White House for President Woodrow Wilson, to a rumored haunt for ghosts and home to "Daddy Warbucks" (in John Huston's film of Broadway's "Annie"), Wilson Hall is ready for its close-up - in a series of images that convey the scale and grandeur of this National Historic Landmark.

The photographs, many of them from the school's own archives (and others furnished by the Monmouth County Historical Association, the Library of Congress and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library) dating from 1903 through 1940, detail the unique characteristics of Wilson Hall - from the Continental magnificence of the Pompeii Room, to the grand staircases and imported marble statuary, to the landscape accents and monuments of the surrounding grounds. A series of images depict president Woodrow Wilson and other dignitaries on the porch of the mansion adorned in stars and stripes, along with the large crowds of people that sprawled out on the lawn during the festivities of the 1916 notification ceremonies that brought national attention to Shadow Lawn.

Also included in the exhibition is an example of the original architectural plans drawn by Shadow Lawn's architect Horace Trumbauer and artifacts from the building that demonstrate the eccentric décor and meticulous design of one of America's last great palaces of the gilded age. 

Historic Wilson Hall: Designated a Historical Landmark in 1985 will be on view from November 1 to December 21 in the Pollak Gallery. For additional information on the exhibition and other gallery events on the West Long Branch campus of Monmouth University, please contact call 732.263.5712 or visit www.monmouth.edu/arts.

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Media contact: Petra Ludwig at 732-263-5507

View of the Cortile – Original Shadow Lawn, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, photograph of Harris and Ewing, 1904