Free family programs at Morse

Morse kicks off program

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  • | 12:39 p.m. June 13, 2012
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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There are 14 tours throughout the summer that run on Tuesdays at the Morse Museum, 445 N. Park Ave. Family films run four times on Fridays. Space is limited.

• Family Tours — 45-minute guided tours on Tuesdays: June 19 and 26; July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. The program includes a take-home art activity with the supplies to make a Japanese sword guard, like the ones Tiffany collected.

• Friday Family Films — a short film, gallery tour and art activity on four Fridays: June 29; July 13 and 27; and Aug. 3. (about 90 minutes)

All children must be accompanied by a parent. A $5 refundable deposit per child is requested when securing a reservation for either program. Call 407-645-5311, ext. 136, or visit

The Morse Museum kicks off its 10th year of free family summer programs on Tuesday, June 19. The 45-minute tours focus on the Laurelton Hall wing, a 6,000-square-feet area that opened just more than a year ago and features pieces from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s three-story estate in Long Island, N.Y.

People come from all over to view what officials call Tiffany’s most important collection in the world.

“My favorite thing about the museum is the Tiffany glass,” said museum visitor Christine Potter of St. Augustine. “The museum contains an incredible history of beauty.”

The history has captivated Mike Mironack of Gainesville, who’s visited the museum multiple times. “I love how there are such unique pieces, and there is so much depth in the collection. There’s such an interesting story behind it.”

The museum started out as a small gallery when Winter Park natives Hugh and Jeannette McKean opened it on the Rollins College campus in 1942. They expressed an early interest in Tiffany’s artwork and were contacted to save the pieces from Tiffany’s estate that burned down in 1957. They brought what they could back to Winter Park and shortly after, the museum moved off campus onto Park Avenue where it has continued to evolve.

“This is the realization of this dream that they had since they brought this stuff back here,” said Catherine Hinman, director of public affairs.

Children ages 5-12 are invited to tour the museum to learn about history, chemistry and cultural influences in Tiffany’s artwork. At the conclusion, children get a take-home activity to continue the learning. Family members are encouraged to take the tour with the children.

“One of my favorite things to do in the gallery is ask what their favorite work of art is and explain why,” said Betsy Peters, curator of education. “It’s interesting to watch the family members and hear the different answers.”

Throughout the year, the museum offers many low-cost or free opportunities to encourage folks to experience the beauty in their own backyard.

“It’s hard to get people out of their normal routines,” Hinman said, “but these summer family programs reach out to local families and invite them to come and experience something wonderful, together.”


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