Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Flower Fan


WHEN: September 3 to December 6, 2015.
Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown

This September, the Morris Museum will present an exhibition celebrating the art and history of the handheld fan. Drawn entirely from the Museum’s permanent collection, The Language of Fans will showcase over forty notable works. (Top: Flower Fan, Netting, wood. Image courtesy of the Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ.)

With a history stretching back more than 4000 years, the handheld fan has served functional, ceremonial and decorative purposes. This elegant art form has been used in religious rituals, expressed romantic sentiment, conveyed status and wealth, and served as an advertising medium. Perhaps the most enduring role of the handheld fan is as a symbol of wealth or royalty, which began during the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Babylon and continues in the twenty-first century.

The Language of Fans will be drawn entirely from the collection of the Morris Museum. Featuring dozens of works from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, the installation will include stylish examples from the United States, Europe, and Asia. The exhibition will be enhanced with several period costumes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to place these essential fashion accessories in the cultural context in which they were used.

“We are delighted to showcase the artistry of this elegant collection of handheld fans,” said Linda Moore, Executive Director of the Morris Museum. “Many of these exquisite objects have never before been exhibited.”

Related Program

The Artistry and Social Fanfare of Fans
WHEN: Wednesday, November 11, 2:00 PM
TICKETS: $10. Includes light refreshments. For tickets, call 973.971.3706.

Join Assistant Curator Alexandra Willis for a behind the scenes look at the new fall exhibition, The Language of Fans.  Explore the fascinating history of fans and their use in ceremonies, as symbols of status and wealth, and as a secret way to express romantic sentiments.

About the Morris Museum

Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award winning, community-based arts and cultural institution that serves the public through high caliber exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities.  The Museum also offers educational programs, family events, and is home to the Bickford Theatre and its wide range of performing arts offerings. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards. The first museum in New Jersey to be accredited, the Morris Museum was re-accredited in 2013 by the American Alliance of Museums. 

The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Location & Hours

The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00pm. In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5:00 to 8:00pm on the second and third Thursday of the month. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for Museum members.  For more information, call (973) 971-3700, or visit