Van Kirk Museum readies for new fall exhibit opening day

SPARTA. Afterwards, the musical artists with the New Sussex Symphony Ensemble will perform

Sparta /
| 06 Sep 2022 | 01:45

The Sparta Historical Society presents the opening day of its new fall exhibit “Vintage Waterfowl Decoys: America’s First Folk Art” at Van Kirk Homestead Museum on Sunday, September 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. This utilitarian art form features decoys from the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University, Galloway NJ.

Decoys have a long established and deeply rooted American tradition. Hunters and sportsmen in the late 1800s and early 1900s sought field guides who offered the most realistic decoys. Sparta and Sussex County have many lakes and had many hunting lodges. So waddle over and see America’s first folk art on display! There will also be a 2 p.m. talk; admission is free.

After the museum’s opening celebration, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on September 11, the Sparta Historical Society will welcome the New Sussex Symphony’s Brass Quintet & String Quartet. This event is totally weather dependent with a rain date of September 18. This brass quintet and string quartet will alternately play both classical and pop musical pieces for your listening pleasure. Bring your chair, hat and picnic basket for this outdoor performance! Members are free to attend; for non-members the concert portion of the day is $10.

The New Sussex Orchestra was founded in 1959. In addition to the span of longevity, the orchestra personnel span a wide range of ability and age, from professional to amateur, student to senior. Rehearsals take place in Sparta. They are dedicated “to bring enjoyment to audiences of all ages through the performance of symphonic music of the masters of past centuries as well as composers of the present day.”

The Sparta Historical Society is located at Van Kirk Homestead Museum at 336 Main Street (Route 517, use Middle School Drive way), Sparta. For more information, email or visit

The fall exhibition, “Vintage Waterfowl Decoys: America’s First Folk Art” will be available for viewing on the second and fourth Sundays through December 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. For group reservations, call 973-726-0883.

Funding has been made available in part by the NJ Council of the Arts through the County History Partnership Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council.