Past Exhibitions


Hoboken, Ellis Island, and the Immigrant Experience, 1892-1924

Dates: August 3, 2014 – December 23, 2014

If Hoboken seems crowded today, with a population just over 50,000, imagine how crowded it was between 1892 – 1924, the peak period of U.S. immigration. Following the Immigration Act of 1891, which established federal control over immigration, Hoboken’s—and the entire country’s—demographics changed dramatically. During the next three decades, 20 million people immigrated to the United States, and more than half, 12 million, passed through the New York and Hoboken.



The Extraordinary Stevens Family, A New Jersey Legacy: 1776-1911

Dates: January 25 – July 5, 2015

"The Extraordinary Stevens Family, A New Jersey Legacy: 1776-1911" detailed the lives and careers of two generations of the family The New York Times referred to as “one of New Jersey’s first families.” The Stevenses were inventors and designers, engineers and urban planners, and their influence is still very much felt, and seen, in Hoboken, and across the nation.



Hoboken: One Year After Sandy, Lessons Learned about Preparedness, Resiliency, and Community

October 2013 - July 2014

Opening on the first anniversary of the historic storm, the exhibit used oral histories, images, videos, maps and scientific analyses to help explain how Hoboken responded and learned new lessons about coping with major storm surges.



I Belong: A History of Civic and Social Clubs in Hoboken

July – December 2012

Hoboken has always been a haven for newcomers. So perhaps it’s not surprising that from as early as the 1700s, social clubs have sprung up as a way for people to connect with others around shared interests. From purely social groups like the Turtle Club—an eating and drinking society—to organizations devoted to civic and social philanthropy, along with special-interest clubs for theater, debate and sports, Hoboken has spawned a colorful array of clubs that reflect its citizens’ diverse interests and backgrounds.



Mapping the Territory: Hudson County in Maps, 1840-2013

January – September 2013

Most of us use maps to learn how to get to where we need to go, but maps can also tell us a lot about where we have been and how we arrived at our destination. Maps can convey as much about a region as any unearthed artifact. For instance, an 1860 map of Hoboken shows boardwalks crisscrossing the undeveloped “meadows” in the western half of the city, where roads still called by their traditional names, Paterson Plank and Hackensack Plank, now run.



Driving Under the Hudson: A History of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels

January – June 2012

Through this exhibition, we celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Holland Tunnel and the 75th birthday of the Lincoln Tunnel. Love them for the access they provide to New York City, or curse them for the rush-hour traffic that ensnares Hudson County drivers, the tunnels define Hoboken’s northern and southern borders. Today we take them for granted, but when they were built, they were marvels of both engineering prowess and public works initiatives.


Yum Yum, Tootsie Rolls, and Chocolate Bunnies on Motorcycles....A Sweet History of Hoboken

January – December 2011

Buddy Valastro put Hoboken on the national culinary map with his popular TLC cable network show, “Cake Boss,” but did you know that Hoboken has been a confectionary powerhouse since the mid-19th century?


Surveying the World:
Keuffel & Esser + Hoboken, 1875–1968

January - December 2010

K&E, the initials carved into the roofline of the building at the corner of Third & Adams, are the only visible trace of a company that played a significant role in America’s phenomenal age of discovery and growth.


Up and Down the River:
A History of the Hudson, 1609–2009

March – December 2009

A hundred years ago, New York City threw a two-weeklong public celebration of a double anniversary: the tricentennial of Henry Hudson’s voyage up the river and the centennial (plus two) of Robert Fulton’s first successful steamboat crossing in 1807. 


Heaven, Hell or Hoboken:
A City Transformed by World War I

September 2008 – January 2009

The designation as a port of embarkation meant national fame for Hoboken – General John J. Pershing’s promise to the troops that they’d be in “Heaven, Hell or Hoboken” by Christmas of 1917 became a national rallying cry for a swift end to the war, which actually dragged on for another year.


Greetings from Hoboken:
A Postcard History

January - August 2008

Corresponding with the greatest growth spurt in Hoboken’s history, 1898–1930, a simple change in postage from 2 cents to 1 transformed the medium of souvenir postcards into a national craze. Known among collectors as the “Golden Age of Postcards,” the first half of that era, up to roughly the beginning of World War I, gave rise to a flourishing of creativity and communications in an age when mail was delivered twice a day in many urban areas.


Hoboken Tunes: Our Musical Heritage

July - December 2007

Frank Sinatra may have put Hoboken on the world map, but his is not the only musical career this town has fostered. Stephen Foster lived here when he wrote I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair. A few years after Sinatra, and just a few doors down from his childhood home, another crooner, Jimmy Roselli rose to fame singing standards and traditional Neapolitan songs.


From Another Time:
Hoboken in the 1970s

January – July 2007

Imagine a Hoboken before the high-rise residential towers and ubiquitous nail salons, cell phone stores, realtors and shoe boutiques. This exhibit celebrates the Museum’s latest book, From Another Time: Hoboken in the 1970s, where visitors will be transported back to Hoboken in the 1970s through a series of powerful black and white photographs taken by three highly regarded photographers.




Main Gallery Exhibit: Hoboken People & Places 1976-1994

On view thru July 2, 2017. Click here to learn more.


In the Upper Gallery: The Essence of Hoboken in Watercolor by Robert Nardolillo

Click here to learn more...