WINTER PARK, FL—The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art will open two new exhibitions on Tuesday, October 17. These exhibitions offer a unique glimpse into two distinct yet interconnected eras of American art: Victorian America and the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Morse Members will have a first look at the installations during the Museum’s fall reception on Monday, October 16.
The exhibition Fascinating Clutter: American Taste during the Reign of Victoria explores the rich aesthetic landscape of Victorian America. In the 19th century, the young republic of the United States followed Great Britain’s imperial and industrial example and eagerly pursued the romantic trends sparked by young Queen Victoria (1819–1901). The reckonings of youth, industry, expansion, and war kindled forms of visual expression in American culture—innocence, nostalgia, mourning, revivalism, and more. Far from the stilted and chaste stereotypes, the Victorian era featured a wide range of styles that emerged from a dynamic environment, one in which modes of personal and artistic expression were transformed on both sides of the Atlantic.
Fascinating Clutter: American Taste during the Reign of Victoria presents an exhibition of over 100 objects from the Museum’s collection, offering visitors a chance to be immersed in the influences that emerged in the United States during such a monumental era. Selections for the installation will include a pair of bracelets, c. 1880, by W. C. Edge & Sons (c. 1870s–c. 1940s), as well as a recent acquisition by the Museum, The Yankee Peddler, c. 1851, an oil-on-canvas painting by William Tolman Carlton (1816–88).
In conjunction with Fascinating Clutter, the Morse will open American Arts & Crafts Movement. The objects from the Museum’s collection selected for this gallery, including furniture, pottery, and metalwork, illustrate the goals of the Arts and Crafts movement— the revival of handcraftsmanship, the creation of more satisfying working conditions, and design unity. The Museum’s collection of Grueby Pottery (1894–1909) will be featured.
The Morse Museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. From November through April, the galleries and Museum Shop are open until 8 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students, free for children under 12, and from November through April, free for all visitors after 4 p.m. on Fridays. For more information about the Morse, please visit www.morsemuseum.org.