The Zimmerli Art Museum is one of the largest and most distinguished university-based museums in the United States. It collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits world-class works of art to provide the university community and diverse regional, national, and international audiences with direct experience of the visual arts. Scholarly activities make art accessible through exhibitions, publications, and educational programs.
Founded in 1966 as the Rutgers University Art Gallery, the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum was established in 1983 in response to the growth of the permanent collection. The major benefactors for the construction of the museum were Ralph and Alan Voorhees, and the Zimmerli was named for their mother.
The museum is headquartered in a 70,000-square-foot facility and has a collection of 60,000 objects ranging from ancient to contemporary art and featuring particularly rich holdings in the areas of French art of the nineteenth century, Russian and Soviet nonconformist art, and American and European works on paper, including prints, drawings, photographs, and rare books.
The Zimmerli Art Museum has 12 important archives related to its Dodge Collection of Soviet Nonconformist Art that provide valuable primary source material illuminating a variety of unofficial artistic activities in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Leningrad) in the period of the 1960s–1980s. The Dodge archives, acquired by the museum in the late 1990s and through the 2000s, are an integral part of the Zimmerli’s mission of documenting and conducting scholarly research on artworks in its collections. This valuable primary source material illuminates a variety of unofficial artistic activities in Moscow, St. Petersburg (Leningrad), and the former Soviet Republics, providing insight into the personal, social, and institutional conditions under which the artists worked. Containing more than 50,000 items, the Dodge Archive is one of the few institutional collections of material related to postwar Soviet art and culture, and the only one in North America.