Saturday, April 10, 2010

Don't Miss Mattson Exhibit

Jean Mattson is one of Plainfield's cultural assets. Plaintalker urges all to take time to see her photographs, either at the opening Saturday or when visiting the library through June 30.


From Plainfield Public Library Director Joe Da Rold:

A retrospective exhibit of the works of Plainfield photographer Jean Mattson will open on April 17, 2010, at the Plainfield Public Library, with a reception from noon to 2:00 p.m. in the Room 2 Gallery. The exhibit will run through June 30, 2010.

Thirty black & white portraits have been selected to showcase the people of Ireland and Plainfield. Her photography captures the essence of each person as an integral part of his or her culture, family, and town. Every face holds a story.

Through her portraits of Irish children and families in Dublin, she illuminates the texture of the city’s substructure with its vibrant street life and people of all ages.

Her Plainfield images document the city changing from the old guard to the African-Americans who rose to prominence in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Jean Mattson, photographer, genealogist, and college professor, was born in Plainfield in 1927. She holds two Masters degrees, one from Columbia University in African History and the other from Temple University in Educational Media. She became interested in photography when working at Kean in their Media Department. She taught at Kean until her 80th birthday.

In 2008, she donated 52 of her Plainfield portraits to the Plainfield Public Library. Those images not in the exhibit may be seen by appointment by calling the Local History Department at 908-757-1111, ext. 136.

The library is located at 800 Park Avenue at the corner of 8th Street in Plainfield. The exhibit and reception are open to the public. All areas are handicapped accessible. Call 908-757-1111 for open hours, or go to the library’s website at


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