July 1, 1975

News & Events

The Story of Our Museum

Historic and world renowned, The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum is one of the jewels of New Jersey.

It was originally built as a residence in 1897, and occupied by wildlife conservationist, Hiram Blauvelt in the 40’s and 50’s. Following up on his efforts to share his adventures and explorations, and expose the beauty of wildlife and their environments, his family turned the Atwood-Blauvelt mansion carriage house into a museum.

After Blauvelt’s death in 1957, his wife, Claire, worked with the Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation and donated a large section of the land, a caretaker’s cottage and the stables, to the Foundation to establish the Blauvelt Wildlife Art Museum. It was home to a treasure trove of trophies and artifacts from Hiram’s hunting adventures.

This fascinating museum, built with expert gallery lighting, now focuses on current artwork depicting wild life scenery, in efforts to promote wildlife preservation worldwide.

In the 1970’s, James Bellis Sr. served on the board and in 1982 became chairman of the board of this wonderful museum. Guy Coheleach met Jim Bellis in 1968, at his winter residence in Vero Beach Florida. His summer residence is in New Jersey, and hence his family and geographical connection to the museum.

In the early 1980’s, James Bellis Sr. asked some of the board of directors of the Society of Animal Artists to work with the museum at acquiring living artist’s works and exhibitions focused on current wildlife art. From that point on, Guy Coheleach, Joe Vance, Doug Allen, and later Steve Quinn worked seamlessly with James Bellis and Mariane Singer.

The museum has established a reputation for hosting elegant dinners and presentations, and attracts classic New York media coverage for exhibitions.

The museum began expanding its already stellar reputation in 1990, with a one-of-its-kind “artist-in-residence” program for artists who paint mainly wildlife. That program now attracts artists from all over the world.

The museum and its artist-in- residence program is now, smoothly administered by James Bellis, Jr. – today’s President of the Blauvelt Art Museum.

What's Happening at the Museum