Over the weekend, the new wing of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art opened and provided not only some of Tiffany’s most beautiful and famous art, but at a price you can’t beat. It’s free until March 20th.
The Morse, home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, opened its long-awaited 12,000-square-foot addition on Feb. 19. To celebrate the public opening, the museum is offering free admission through March 20.
The expansion, which includes 6,000 square feet of additional exhibition space, provides for the first time long-term public access to the recently restored Daffodil Terrace from Tiffany’s celebrated Long Island home, Laurelton Hall, as well as 250 art and architectural objects from or related to the destroyed estate. Highlights include prize-winning leaded-glass windows, iconic Tiffany lamps, as well as art glass and custom furnishings.
The Daffodil Terrace, installed in a glass-enclosed gallery, serves as the centerpiece of the new wing. The 18-by-32-foot outdoor room exemplifies Tiffany’s unique and dramatic style. Supported by eight 11-foot columns that are topped with bouquets of glass daffodils, the terrace’s coffered ceiling is composed of hundreds of stenciled wood elements and molded tiles in three bays. The central bay features a skylight covered by six 10-foot grids of iridescent-glass tiles in a pear-tree motif.
“The new galleries suggest aspects of the actual rooms designed and decorated by Tiffany during his lifetime,” said Laurence J. Ruggiero, director of the Morse Museum. “Visitors can no longer go to Laurelton Hall to appreciate Tiffany’s approach to design, but they can come to the Morse and, we hope, gain a more holistic sense of the man, his aesthetic, and the power of his imagination.”
Highlights from the dining-room installation, for example, include a 13.5-foot-high, mosaic-decorated marble mantelpiece that is one of Tiffany’s most forward-looking designs and a suite of six leaded-glass wisteria transoms. The living room installation features four leaded-glass panels depicting the four seasons—each from a single window from the Tiffany exhibit at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, for which the artist won a gold medal.
The Morse Museum, located at 445 N. Park Ave. in Winter Park, is owned and operated by the Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation and receives additional support from the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation. It receives no public funds.
The Morse Museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday; 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Regular admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $1 for students, and free for children younger than age 12. All visitors are admitted free 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, November through April. For more information, call (407) 645-5311 or visit www.morsemuseum.org.