Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission
Cultural adn Heritage Commission is a division of The Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation

Artists from the Past

Ocean County has been host to over seventy noteworthy artists, who lived and worked in its beautiful natural settings. These artists, although largely unrecognized to date, have impressive credentials. Both professional and amateur artists used their varied talents to capture everyday life, natural settings and maritime themes throughout Ocean County.

Many of the artists were trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia; there were also graduates of Pratt Institute and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and Academie Julian in Paris. Some of the Ocean County Artists went on to form art organizations, found art schools, and important regional art institutions. Ocean County artists’ work can be found in magazines, children’s books, postage stamps and US government recruitment posters, and in the United States Capitol building. Works from Ocean County Artists are represented in virtually every major museum on the east coast and in both national and international art collections.

Ocean County quickly became an important destination for artists from the New York and Philadelphia areas. They were able to take complete advantage of the direct railroad connections and the resort hotels and cottage colonies along the coast. The area provided the watercolor, pastel, and oil artists paintable subjects everywhere, from hunters’ and their dogs to marshland and pine forests. Some artists lived in near isolation on the barrier beaches around Bay Head, Mantoloking, and Chadwick Beach. Others gathered in communities around the Toms River and Manasquan River. Island Heights and Harvey Cedars provided communities where artists could work in close proximity to one another.

Artists of all types continue to find Ocean County an inspiring place to live and work.
View Artists and their works before 1950 here