ORLANDO / WINTER PARK: The Morse Museum of American Art, located on Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida, celebrates 75 years of offering beauty and art this year. As part of the celebration a new exhibition was officially opened to the public on Tuesday, October 18th.
This phenomenal showcase of the Morse Museum’s entire collection is solidly diverse and continues to bring beauty and continuity to its audience.
It effectively applauds many additional outstanding artifacts which have been added to an impressive array of amazing art which already make up this fascinating collection.
Founded in 1942, the Morse Museum is probably best known for its collection of Tiffany lamps and artifacts dating back to the early 1900’s. Louis Comfort Tiffany (1948 - 1933) began collecting pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded glass windows and lamps. The industrialist housed much of his art and architectural objects in his Long Island estate, “Laurelton Hall,” which included 20th century American paintings, graphics, decorative art, stained glass windows, art pottery and more.
Tiffany died in 1933 and much of the vast collection was actually sold at auction due to the original foundation’s financial instability.
The original estate, which consisted of an impressive 37,000 square foot estate home, along with majestic gardens, was set on 600 acres of Long Island’s North Shore. Sadly, Laurelton Hall burned to the ground in 1957, but much of the art collection had been sold by then.
Tiffany's granddaughter, Jeannette Genius McKean, along with her husband Hugh, founded the Morse Museum, in Winter Park, in 1942 . She and her husband, Hugh McKean developed the Morse Museum beginning with many artifacts from the estate of her late grandfather. The museum began with an unprecedented amount of works from his original estate which, over the past 50 years, have developed into an impressive array of amazingly enduring art pieces.
Available for viewing with a distinct emphasis on diversity and originality, the collection is both beautiful and contemporary without compromise.
Dr. Laurence Ruggiero, Director of the Morse Museum, stated “there is no right or wrong way to enjoy art. There are no rules and art is both sensual and intellectual before you start to talk about it.” He then added sagely, “it is more important to experience art than to ‘know’ about it because art ‘speaks’ to everyone regardless of race, sexuality or ethnicity.”
The most recent works of art to complement the Morse collection include a wonderful array of Three Face glass, iridescent carnival glass, portraits, landscape paintings, pottery and works on paper. Sixty new objects will highlight the eclectic array of artifacts presented by the McKeans over the past five decades. There are also plaster art pieces, sculptures, prints and impressive windows of stained glass.
Incredibly, “The Chapel”, created in 1893 by Louis Comfort Tiffany as a pavilion for exhibition at the 1983 Chicago World’s Fair, now sits intact at the Morse Museum. Although it was officially called "The World’s Columbian Exposition," which brought the already successful designer even more popularity both in America and abroad, its beauty and relevance still hold true. After the World’s Fair, The Chapel was reinstalled in the crypt of the newly built Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City. This breathtaking structure fell into disrepair after some ten years and Tiffany reacquired it, restored it and transported it back to his Laurelton Hall estate on Long Island.