The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida, will open its 2019–2020 season on October 15 with new exhibitions accompanied by related and seasonal programming. Stories from the Archives—Louis Comfort Tiffany and His Studios will explore the Museum’s extensive Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) and Tiffany Studios archives. Rare and Remarkable—Art Pottery of Louis Comfort Tiffany will draw on Tiffany’s rare and splendid, surviving art pottery in the Morse’s collection. The Museum contains the largest public collection of Tiffany pottery anywhere in the world.
The focus of the spring exhibition is late-19th and early-20th century American portraiture from the Morse Museum’s collection.
2019–2020 EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS
Stories from the Archives—Louis Comfort Tiffany and His Studios
Opens October 15, 2019
Stories from the Archives—Louis Comfort Tiffany and His Studios explores the Morse Museum’s expansive collection of archival materials from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s businesses, project studies, and personal life, bridging the gap between artistic and studio processes and completed works of art. When examined in context with the beauty of Tiffany windows, pottery, and paintings, the archives tell stories that can only be found in the progression to production. Stories from the Archives is composed of three vignettes. In one of the three, a recently donated, oil-on-panel study of the Entombment window—currently on exhibit outside of the Tiffany Chapel—continues to expand the Museum’s archival collection. It also reveals that Tiffany’s process of constructing his windows required preliminary steps—including his skills as a painter. The second and third vignettes respectively focus on the workers of Tiffany Studios and their participation behind the scenes at a world’s fair. Through sketches, cartoons, and documents in the Museum’s collection, the exhibit reveals Tiffany’s work in incredible detail. The assembled vignettes connect the vision of Tiffany and Tiffany Studios with final objects of beauty that entranced interior designers, exhibition-goers, and affluent individuals of the time, and that continue to fascinate today.
Rare and Remarkable—Art Pottery of Louis Comfort Tiffany
Opens October 15, 2019
Rare and Remarkable—Art Pottery of Louis Comfort Tiffany provides a comprehensive look into the rare pottery of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). Produced between 1900 and 1915, Tiffany’s art pottery was encouraged by the reverberations of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 and ultimately defined by the artist’s never-ending experimentation. The Museum’s collection is the largest public collection of Tiffany pottery anywhere in the world. Tiffany, inspired by the nationwide trend that saw ceramics as part of every decorative arts company’s product line, innovated on the craze with French influences. Complex glazing and unconventional forms distinguished Tiffany’s creations from the stylish pottery of the time. Only 2,000 pieces are thought to have been produced by Tiffany and even fewer survive today. A highlight of the exhibition are three crocus vases of the same mold, two of which the Museum acquired in the past year. The new pieces are marked A-Coll, affirming that they were retained by Tiffany for his own curated collection at Laurelton Hall, his Long Island estate. They are on view for the first time. The display of the Morse Museum’s uniquely vast holdings of Tiffany pottery celebrates the design genius’s experimentation with the ceramic medium that, in his pursuit of beauty, he couldn’t resist.
Portraits of Americans from the Morse Collection
Opens March 3, 2020
Portraiture in America in the latter half of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century took on a different purpose. Rather than romantic portrayals of royals and magnates, paintings of people who commissioned portraits were intent on capturing the qualities, beyond the physical attributes of their subjects. John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), Charles Hawthorne (1872–1930), and Cecilia Beaux (1855–1942) were portraitists that let the paint express the individual’s character and did not simply reproduce their likeness on canvas. Portraits from the Morse Museum’s American portraiture collection are part of its repository of American art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933)—including his chapel from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and surviving art and architectural elements from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall—are always on view.
Admission is free from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday November 1 through Friday, April 24. On select Friday evenings, the Museum features live music, exhibition tours, and more.
The Museum’s 2019–2020 schedule also includes the 41st annual Christmas in the Park on December 5, a display of Tiffany windows, and open house events for Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas Eve, Winter Park’s Weekend of the Arts, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Easter weekend, and Independence Day.