The Morse Museum of American Art

Comprehensive Collection of the Works by Louis Comfort Tiffany

••• Works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Photo © Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
445 North Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789

Take a photo tour of the Morse Museum of American Art.

The Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, FL, contains the most comprehensive collection of the works by Louis Comfort Tiffany including his heralded lamps, signature leaded-glass windows and mosaic masterpiece. Also included is the chapel he designed for the 1893 world's fair in Chicago.

Free Friday Evenings at the Morse Museum of Art
Every Friday Evening, starting at the beginning of November until the end of April, the Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park remains open until 8 p.m. and free to all visitors between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Laurelton Hall
Tiffany's Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall, with almost 100 objects from the Tiffany mansion - including leaded-glass windows, blown glass and pottery and historical photos and architectural plans. The museum also has a distinguished collection of American Art Pottery and a representative collection of late 19th and early 20th-century American painting and decorative art.

Tiffany's Daffodil Terrace
New in February 2011, the expansion features the fully restored Daffodil Terrace from Tiffany's celebrated Long Island home, Laurelton Hall and approximately 250 art and architectural objects from or relate to the long-lost estate.

Highlights include prize winning leaded-glass windows and iconic Tiffany lamps as well as art glass and custom furnishings.

Louis Comfort Tiffany's 1893 Chapel for the World's Columbian Exposition.

Free Public Events at the Museum

  • Easter Weekend Open House - The Museum is open to the public, Friday thru Sunday, Easter Weekend.
  • Independence Day Open House - The Museum is open on Independence Day in conjunction with the City of Winter Park's Old Fashioned July 4th Celebration in Central Park.
The Morse's Park Avenue galleries opened on July 4, 1995. They were developed from former bank and office buildings. The redesign linked two buildings with a tower in a simple modified Mediterranean style meant to blend with the surrounding cityscape. Today, after an additional expansion to install the Tiffany Chapel from the 1893 Chicago world's fair, the Museum has more than 11,000 square feet of exhibition space - nearly three times the gallery space in its former location on Welbourne Avenue.

Jeannette Genius McKean founded the Museum formerly known as the Morse Gallery of Art on the Rollins College campus in 1942. The Museum was relocated to Welbourne Avenue in 1977, and its name was changed to The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.

Since its opening 10 years ago on Park Avenue, the Museum has worked to strengthen both the aesthetic and scholarly quality of the exhibitions it mounts from the collection that the McKeans assembled over a 50-year period.

As is traditional, the "Christmas Eve" window will be the focal point of this annual outdoor exhibit. This window, designed by Thomas Nast Jr., son of the famous political cartoonist, was produced around 1902 by Tiffany Studios, will be on exhibit at the Morse following Christmas in the Park.

Eight leaded-glass windows, selected from the Morse's world-renowned Tiffany collection, will set the stage for the free outdoor concert of seasonal favorites by the 150-voice Bach Festival Choir, one of America's premier oratorio ensembles.

Seven of the windows are memorials with religious themes that were produced by Tiffany Studios for the chapel constructed in 1908 for the Association for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females in New York. When the residence was threatened with demolition in 1974, Hugh and Jeannette McKean, the couple who assembled the Morse collection – bought its Tiffany chapel windows at the request of the Association board. The Association residence is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The two-hour program begins at 6:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of December, when the signal will be given to turn on the window lights. The rain date will be the following night, at the same time.

Free Admission on Christmas Eve

On December 24, the Morse invites the public to the museum's galleries to enjoy at no charge, works that include Louis Comfort Tiffany's century-old, leaded-glass windows and his celebrated 1893 chapel.

The Byzantine-inspired chapel, a mosaic and glass masterpiece designed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, established Tiffany's reputation internationally and is one of the artist's last surviving interiors. The chapel opened at the Morse in 1999. During the holidays only, the museum also exhibits the 1902 Tiffany window, "Christmas Eve," designed by the famous cartoonist Thomas Nast.

The Winter Park museum holds an open house for the public each Christmas Eve to provide a peaceful respite from the busy holiday season.

The Virtues of Simplicity—American Arts and Crafts from the Morse Collection, on view through Sept. 26, 2010, illustrates the origins of the movement in Great Britain and shows how the Arts and Crafts movement manifested itself in the United States, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Objects in the exhibition are organized into three geographical sections: Europe, Chicago and Other American Regions. The Arts and Crafts movement was a late-19th century response to the harsh realities of the Industrial Revolution— mass production that debased the individual and yielded cheap, poorly designed products—as well as to the excessive decoration of the Victorian Era.

The preservation of human creativity and dignity of work in an economy increasingly dominated by machines is a value and a challenge that resonates even today. The problem for the reformers was how to meet the lofty democratic goal of making handcrafted everyday objects of good design affordable for all. American artists and designers, as it turned out, would succeed with this fundamental aim of the Arts and Crafts movement even more so than its founders.

Artists who aligned themselves with the movement internationally sought a return to work by hand, the dignity of labor, and unity of design. Design unity was the ideal for one’s whole environment—that is, all elements of a home, from its architecture to its furnishings and decoration, should be conceived as a total work of art, each part working in harmony with the other.

Despite these common goals, works of great individuality were produced by different regions and countries because the movement’s advocates considered local history, materials and sources highly important.

In America, the movement produced works that were notable for their simple designs and spare ornamentation, often inspired by nature.

The clean silhouettes of these objects continue to influence the look of modern design to this very day. Yet for both creators and consumers, Arts and Crafts objects represented more than an aesthetic: their value derived from a production process that honored the individual and a simpler way of life.