Homeowner viewpoints Orlando travel tips

A visit to The Charles Hosmer Museum of American Art by Ruth Moriarty

We’re delighted to bring you another blog by our homeowner Ruth Moriarty.

Winter Park is a gem of a town which Ruth wrote about in one of her earlier blogs for us.

She says one of Winter Park’s hidden gems is this unassuming museum and definitely recommends a visit.

The Charles Hosmer Museum of American Art in Winter Park

The Charles Hosmer Museum of American Art is also known as the Morse Museum.

It harbours some true treasures if you like Tiffany. Not the little blue boxes of wonderful jewellery Tiffany, but the art, glass and leaded lamps, created by Louis Comfort Tiffany – isn’t that just the best name! – (1848–1933), the jeweller’s son.  

The museum is a quiet, dark, cool place – old fashioned, a bit of a rabbit warren but there are plenty of maps to orientate yourself.  Each gallery has brochures to fully explain about the exhibits and everyone who works there is very helpful. You can take photos as long as you don’t use flash or video.  You can easily spend all morning or afternoon there – there is no rush and just allow yourself time to stand and absorb the beauty of the exhibits. I was there for about three hours one afternoon and could have stayed longer. The Tiffany collection is truly amazing, including every medium he worked in, from every period of his life.

The Morse Museum’s Tiffany artworks

I kept going back to a stunning piece of leaded glass called Aurora which was created around 1894. The colours are so vibrant and the artistry is amazing. 

Some door panels created around 1905 feature a full-sized statue behind them – it’s like looking into a garden.

Of the vases, one was a gorgeous piece of lustre. It is like silk as it catches the light!

The museum also houses an iconic Tiffany Wisteria Lamp.  It is really incredible to see close up; the leaded glass looks like fabric that has been draped.  This piece is absolutely stunning and was made around 1910.

The pieces are made with each piece of glass cut individually and put on a template.  During your visit to the museum, you can watch a short video showing you how the artworks are made.

The treasures of the Morse Museum

Inside the museum is Tiffany’s chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  It is stunning, the work is so intricate and the lighting makes it look as if it is on exterior walls, except it isn’t. It’s simply beautiful to admire or just to sit quietly.

I was intrigued to see how Tiffany went from painting such a glorious image he did below in about 1888 to recreating it in a glass window about 1892– both pieces are mesmerising.

The Museum also contains American art, pottery, furniture, late 19th- and early 20th-century American paintings, which are equally as fascinating. This includes vases painted from photographs of Native Americans in the late 19th/ early 20th Century.

Best moment of the visit? Here’s one of my favourite selfies – myself reflected in a Tiffany mirror.

Morse Museum shop

The shop is last but certainly not least.  Some amazing things to buy there from puzzles, pens and calendars to jewellery, tea towels, clothes, caps and umbrellas.  It’s a great place to find a wide range of very unusual souvenirs for a good range of prices.

About your visit to the Morse Museum

$6 Adults
$5 Seniors age 60 and older
$1 Students (with valid ID)

Free for children younger than 12
All visitors free 4:00 pm–8:00 pm Fridays (November through April)

I came away feeling uplifted by having seen so many beautiful things.  It’s well worth a visit and a great alternative to the parks.

About Ruth’s home

If you’d like to book your stay in Florida to enjoy a visit to Winter Park and the Morse Museum or any of central Florida’s other wonderful attractions, please check out our homes here.

Ruth’s home is the very wonderful Sapphire Sky Villa at Orange Tree.  See more – and book – here.

Would you like to share your tips for great days out in Florida?

We’d love to share contributions from our guests and homeowners about great days out in Florida.  If you have tips or ideas you’d like to share on our blog, please reach out to our team. 

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