Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of Tiffany Glass and Art

While the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum is awe inspiring, the history of Louis Comfort Tiffany and the founding of the museum are equally impressive.  Most famous for the Tiffany lamps designed by his students and himself, there is so much more to see.  A small sample of the most comprehensive collection of Tiffany’s work and a hint of the history behind it can be seen in this video:

Like a rock hound, I seek out Florida’s hidden gems.  This rare gem is tucked away behind the curtains of Spanish moss that drape a live oak shaded cobbled avenue in Winter Park. The museum and its impressive art nouveau collection is the crown jewel of the Winter Park shopping and historic district near Orlando.

If you are ever in the Orlando area the museum is simply a “must see”.  Its focal point, a chapel rescued from the fire that destroyed the Tiffany Estate, Laurelton Hall, in 1957, was designed and constructed exclusively for display in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition (also known as The World’s Fair) in Chicago. The chapel is made of mosaic glass tiles that reflect patterns of colored light from every angle. The cross shaped “electrolier”, as Tiffany called it, is suspended above.

orlando-winter-park-morse-museum-tiffany-chapel-full

Another Tiffany masterpiece, The Daffodil Terrace, restored at the museum, is temporarily installed at the Metropolitan Museum and is larger than many Manhattan apartments. Its tall marble columns are topped with clusters of yellow flowers — daffodils — made of blown glass, the material in which Tiffany achieved his greatest eloquence.

The Daffodil Terrace once connected the dining room and the gardens at Laurelton Hall, the grand estate that Tiffany built for himself from 1902 to 1905 on 580 extensively landscaped acres overlooking Long Island Sound. Can you imagine the grandeur of such a place?

You can read more about the chapel and the museum founders here: http://orlando.about.com/od/museumarticles/a/tiffany.htm

39 thoughts on “Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of Tiffany Glass and Art

    1. You truly missed something spectacular. I watched them over time when they were restoring the terrace, bit by little bit. I have not seen it fully restored because they immediately whisked it off to NYC.

            1. Metropolitan Museum is all I know. I saw pics of the reconstruction there of The Daffodil Terrace, the chapel no. And the home that was on Long Island Sound is long gone….pity though.

                1. It burned down in 1957. they didn’t rebuild it. Morse’s daughter or granddaughter, (can’t recall what she was, but her husband was a student of Tiffany’s) they salvaged what they could from the fire. Tiffany was not popular at that time, so people thought they where crazy.

                    1. I don’t know about onsite remains. I bet if you went there and looked hard enough you might find something left. Unless somebody has bulldozed it all away.

                    2. Charley hit us bad. Destroyed Greg’s vacation home in Punta Gorda. No power at work except generators for a few outlets, patients from overflow in other facilities literally dying in the hallways.

                    3. Jalina used to be terribly afraid of animated toys, anything that sang or danced…those little sing-a-longs and any of the little stuffed animals or characters that dance or bark.

                    4. He’s getting over that. We almost cured him of it until he had a run-in with a singing, moving Wall-E. Him and my friend’s cat nearly crashed into each other when that thing went off.

    1. That would be fun. It is an awesome sight. The lamps alone are something to see, but there is so much more. It is very affordable, just a few dollars. I feel honored and blessed to have it near. If you love art, as I do, while you are in Tampa, you should drop by the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Pete. Another hidden jewel. I was amazed to see both the hugeness and the smallness of some of his most famous works.

        1. Chihuly art glass is another fantastic sight to behold. He has had several displays go through here. One outdoors and one indoors that I have seen. It is very abstract and fragile in appearance. They got most creative with the outdoor exhibit and had glass balls floating in lily ponds and a boat filled with glass baubles. The indoor one had a magnificent display going 30 feet to the ceiling of the OMMA, like a giant Christmas tree of spiraling glass.

    1. Take a peek at it later when you get home. You won’t be disappointed. It truly is an international treasure. Thanks for stopping by…don’t get into trouble at work 🙂

  1. It’s beautiful. We visited the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT a couple of summers ago. There are some beautiful Tiffany items there. Actually the whole house/museum is wonderful.

      1. If you’re ever in Hartford (we were there for a wedding), it’s a great place to visit. There’s a museum, too. When we were there, there was an exhibit on racism. And Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house is across the property, and it’s worth visiting, too.

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