Member Spotlight - Morse Museum
Member Spotlight - Morse Museum
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, appropriately called a community resource and a national treasure, shared a recent announcement that will put an exclamation point on the end of that statement: an extraordinary gift from a significant art world family. Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., and Susan Cragg Stebbins announced that they will be donating their extensive American art collection of 65-plus works to the museum. Stebbins had a long career as a historian, curator, published author and international speaker, with stints at Yale University, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harvard Art Museums. Their donation was made in honor of Susan’s parents, Evelyn and Henry Cragg, longtime residents of Winter Park and supporters of the Morse Museum. Mr. Cragg was a Board of Trustee member from the board’s founding in 1976 until his death in 1988, demonstrating a true love and devotion to the museum.
Dr. Laurence Ruggiero, the Morse Museum’s director, said, “The works of art that make up the Stebbins Collection are exquisite pictures that are not only a delight to the eye but a joy for the mind. Their very generous gift will further enhance our continuing efforts to carry out the vision of the McKeans to make art an important part of the everyday lives of everyone in our community.”
The Morse was founded by Jeannette Genius McKean in 1942 in honor of her grandfather, Charles Hosmer Morse. While the museum is known internationally for housing the world’s largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, it also houses so many more treasures, including American art pottery, late 19th- and early 20th-century paintings, sculpture, watercolors, drawings, graphics and decorative art. The Morse also offers many ways for children, adults and families to engage and make art a part of everyday life. Opportunities include free Friday admission through April 30, family activities available online, videos offering in-depth information about current exhibits, K-12 lesson plans for educators, and an online shop of unique gifts and collectibles. Their summer programs for kids will debut online in early July.
Their website includes online activities, videos and an audio tour you can enjoy while viewing the artwork.
“We installed an audio tour several years ago, and now it is online so you can look at the works and hear the commentary from our director. It’s a nice supplement to enjoy them both virtually,” says Emily Sujka, director of community relations.
Some of the online activities that are designed to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike include five ways to create with watercolors, according to Sujka. Bet you never thought to incorporate plastic wrap into your art to create a totally unique effect.
“The Morse is a respite from the world and a great place to relax,” says Sujka. She notes that this is even more true with social distancing in place among other safety standards.
The Morse Museum is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, currently by appointment only. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children under 12. Reservations can by made online or by phone.