Celebrating 75 Years – Pathways of American Art at the Morse Museum


By Jessica C. Northey
An unexpectedly hidden world lies among the treasures of Winter Park's boutique shops, dining, and cultural scene. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a hidden gem tucked away in Winter Park, Florida just at the end of Park Avenue. Now celebrating 75 years of the Morse by inviting the public to explore and learn about art through several events. It's an exhibit called the Pathways of American Art. Let us paint a picture for you what this exquisite exhibit entails.


The Pathways of American Art is a collection assembled by the McKeans over 50 years of various mediums, techniques, styles, subjects, and points of view represented in the visual arts by committing to teaching and interpretation.

Exhibition reflects the Museum's foundational values: a belief that art improves lives, a passion for educating, and a respect for all artists and artistic contributions.

"Our 75th anniversary is an occasion to reaffirm the McKeans' vision for the Museum's role in the community," said Director Laurence J. Ruggiero, who curated the new exhibition. "We will be celebrating the values that have steered the institution since its inception and which make it a distinctive benefaction."

You can see the Museum's history timeline here.


The Art Machine is a replicated exhibit from 1988-95, of Thomas Sully's 1871 study of a young Queen Victoria with precise instructions on how to view and appreciate the work of art. As it has been since its founding 75 years ago, the Museum is committed to unleashing for the benefit of the community the power of art to inspire and enlighten. This is the mission and values of the Museum. The Morse, above all, encourages visitors to make the experience of art-all art-a happy and rewarding part of their lives. This exhibit includes a step-by-step instructional manual called the Art Machine. It's designed to build bridges between art and the viewers when instructions are followed results are guaranteed.


The work of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the Morse Museum collection. This collection has been referred to as "the most comprehensive and most interesting collection of Tiffany anywhere". The Laurelton Hall objects include the artist's most prized paintings, art glass, pottery, and furniture.


This jaw-dropping, beautiful chapel is one of the many reasons that the Morse Museum is a "must see in person" experience. It's by far, the most fascination objects. The chapel interior Tiffany created for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago with its brilliantly colored windows, mosaics, marble, jewels, glass, stone, and furnishings.


The Museum has a majority of visitors from all over the world as well as locals. It's not hard to see why. The museum is the largest single repository of surviving materials from Tiffany's Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall. Either designed by Tiffany for the estate or handpicked by Tiffany to be displayed there, this important group of art and architectural elements distinguishes the Morse's collection from any other.


The Museum's birth, its DNA, and continuing mission is first and foremost based not on the work of particular artists or masterworks but on its character as an educator and art advocate. By teaching ways of seeing art and of approaching art history, the Museum has striven to become a powerful life-enhancing influence in its community. 


Upcoming Public Events 

Celebrate the season of renewal and rebirth at the Morse. The Museum offers many opportunities to view the collection at no charge, as well as to enjoy live music, tours, and other programs that enrich the experience.


Live Music 5-8pm

March 24: Victoria Lynn Schulz Harp Trio (celtic harp, flute, and violin)

March 31: Beautiful Music Chamber Trio (cello, flute, and violin)

April 7: Beautiful Music Romance Duo (flue and guitar)

Evening Curator Tours: Fridays, March 24 and 31; April 7,14, 21, and 28 at 7pm. Curator tours of the exhibition Louis Comfort Tiffany's Laurelton Hall.

Visit the Morse Museum website to plan your visit.


Enjoy our slideshow of the Morse Museum:

Morse Museum

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Written by Jessica C. Northey, Multimedia Content Producer for Visit Orlando. She enjoys the arts culture, photography, and creative writing about entertainment and travel destinations.


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