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Meet Ira Wagner, the executive director of the beautiful Montclair Art Museum. We discuss Ira’s journey from a career in finance to leading an art museum, highlighting the importance of following your passions and embracing career changes.

In this engaging conversation, we delve deeper into the museum’s exhibits, new approaches, and inspiring mission statement: “Through art, we create experiences that inspire, challenge, and foster community to shape our shared future.”


Janette swears one hour at the museum can shift your mood! It really can!

[00:09:01] Movie studio bond issue.
[00:13:21] Appreciation for art and photography.
[00:18:19] The museum’s secret mission.
[00:23:12] Free first Thursdays.
[00:27:08] The challenges of getting an MFA degree.
[00:32:27] Taking Space exhibition.
[00:33:13] Women in museum collections.
[00:40:02] Portfolio review day for students.
[00:42:26] Discovering New Jersey’s hidden gems.

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Montclair Art Museum is the place to be!

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Ira Wagner Episode Bio

Ira Wagner is the guest speaker in this podcast episode. He is the Executive Director of the Montclair Art Museum and has achieved success in both banking and the art museum industry. He has been involved in innovative transactions and has a passion for photography and supporting local artists.


Discovering the Montclair Art Museum: A Hidden Gem in New Jersey

Located in Montclair, New Jersey, the Montclair Art Museum is a cultural institution that offers a diverse range of art exhibitions, educational programs, and community events. In this blog post, we will explore the museum’s mission, membership benefits, current exhibitions, and upcoming events. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, the Montclair Art Museum is a must-visit destination.

The Museum’s Mission: Inspiring, Challenging, and Fostering Community

  • The Montclair Art Museum’s mission is to create experiences that inspire, challenge, and foster community to shape our shared future.
  • The museum aims to make art accessible to all and encourages a welcoming and inclusive environment.


Membership Benefits: Affordable and Accessible

  • The museum offers various membership options, starting at $55 for an individual membership.
  • Members enjoy exclusive benefits such as discounts at the gift shop, access to special events, and discounted rates for art classes at the Yard School of Art.
  • Membership provides an opportunity to support the museum’s mission and be part of a vibrant artistic community.


Current Exhibitions: A Feast for the Senses

  • “Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale” showcases large-scale artworks by women artists, challenging traditional notions of size and representation.
  • The exhibition features works from the museum’s permanent collection as well as loans from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Another notable exhibition is “Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders,” which explores the artist’s unique blend of Jewish and Indian cultural influences through vibrant and thought-provoking artworks.


Upcoming Events: Engaging and Educational

  • Book Signing with Katie Hessel: Katie Hessel, author of “The Story of Art Without Men,” will be at the museum for a book signing event. Her book explores the contributions of women artists throughout history. (Date and time to be announced)
  • Portfolio Review Day: High school students interested in pursuing art can bring their portfolios for review by representatives from various art schools and programs. This event provides valuable feedback and potential opportunities for future art education. (Date to be announced)

The Montclair Art Museum offers a wealth of artistic experiences for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. From thought-provoking exhibitions to engaging events and educational programs, the museum is a hub of creativity and community. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply looking for a refreshing and inspiring outing, the Montclair Art Museum is a hidden gem worth exploring in the heart of New Jersey.


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