The Mansion Project: Decadence and Decay
Built in 1889 and perched in one of the vantage points of Newark, the Krueger-Scott mansion is a Louis XIV-Style Victorian mansion and the most expensive home built in the city. The 40-room mansion was constructed by an immigrant worker named Gottfried Krueger. Arriving penniless in the United States he eventually rose to prominence through ownership of a brewery. Built as a celebration of his achievements and opportunities afforded to him in this country, after his death the mansion moved through a succession of owners until it was occupied by Louise Scott from 1966 until 1982. It was from here that she ran a string of black beauty parlors and became one of the wealthiest women in city, possibly Newark’s first African-American millionaire. After her death, and with the changing prosperity of the city, the building defaulted into the hands of the city and has since become a ruined, cavernous shell of its former self. The surrounding domain has changed since the time of construction from graceful single family housing on a prominent city boulevard to high density, government sponsored housing, which has recently ceded to low rise, urban townhouses. Over time the Krueger-Scott Mansion has remained a constant presence in a city which has undergone significant physical and psychological change, and fluctuating economic successes. This exhibition will involve contemporary artists focusing on the mansion as both a physical and metaphorical site. Issues addressed in the works will be drawn from the rich history of the site and may include: notions of memory, ruination & decay, decadence & excess, urban planning, architecture, socially defined ideas of beauty, African-American culture, and immigration.