The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage, 610 Washington Avenue, Woodbine, NJ 08270, Phone 609-861-5355

The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage News Article December 3, 2003

"The SAM" Preserves Woodbine History with New Exhibit


Michael Azeez (left) with the artist Steven Tucker (right) in front of the Memory Wall
Michael Azeez (left) with the artist Steven Tucker (right) in front of the Memory Wall.

WOODBINE, NJ, December 3, 2003 – The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage unveiled a new relief sculpture designed to collect and preserve memories of the Woodbine community. Entitled "A Collective Memory Wall," visitors can submit written accounts of their Woodbine memories to be preserved in sealed glass tubes.

Commissioned by museum founder and Chairman Michael Azeez, artist Steven Tucker was awarded the project over several competing sculptors. Tucker holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. His artwork has been shown in museums and galleries internationally and throughout the United States. Dommert/Phillips, the Philadelphia-based exhibit design and architecture firm that designed the museum, worked with Tucker to integrate the piece into the museum’s permanent exhibition.

The Collective Memory Wall consists of nearly 1000 small glass tubes suspended from wooden arms. Interspersed with historic photographs of Woodbiners, the piece takes on an contemplative appearance that represents the historical importance of the town. The bluestone base of the sculpture includes a quote by Elie Wiesel, "I believe in the hope for a future, just as I believe in the irresistible power of memory." This summarizes the sculpture’s intent to look to the future but remember the past.

Artist Steven Tucker at the Memory Wall.
Artist Steven Tucker at the Memory Wall.

"The Collective Memory Wall is an exciting and important new part of the museum," said Azeez. "It invites everyone to participate in our profound history to preserve it for generations to come."

Using lesson plans developed by Tucker and the teachers at Woodbine Elementary, every new graduating eighth grade class will add memories to the wall. Members of the community are also encouraged to add their memories of Woodbine. In the future as the tubes are filled, the contents of some will be displayed in the drawers of the wood flat file at the base of the sculpture.

Housed in Woodbine’s Brotherhood Synagogue, The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage was created to remember and preserve the rich history of the Jewish and other immigrant families who settled there from Western Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and to tell the story of the development of Woodbine as a community. For more information, call (609) 861-5355 or visit http://www.thesam.org

1x1 shim image
Star of DavidStar of DavidStar of DavidStar of DavidStar of DavidStar of Davidwww.TheSam.orgStar of DavidStar of DavidStar of DavidStar of DavidStar of DavidStar of David