Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Holiday Concerts, Video Painting, Street Art, and Spark!Lab Extended Hours for the Family, and More 


A Note from Dr. Cleveland Johnson

Morris Museum President & CEO

As winter temperatures have finally arrived, reality strikes home that my service at the Morris Museum will soon end. I’ve been honored to help this 108-year-old institution examine itself on a path toward renewed meaning and relevance, surviving these difficult pandemic years while reaching confidently for the future.

Highlights would certainly include:

·    the recentering of our mission around “art, sound, and motion,” inspired by the potential of our historic Guinness Collection to speak in creative ways to our contemporary, technology-driven, boundary-blurring lives

·    our induction into the Smithsonian Affiliate network, as New Jersey’s only Affiliate, allowing us to funnel Smithsonian programming to you

·    our installation of New Jersey’s first—and America’s tenth—Smithsonian Spark!Lab, reaffirming our century-old commitment to elementary-age children and their parents

·    our daring introduction of graffiti and street art into a hallowed, museum space, with the country’s first exhibition of works painted directly on gallery walls (Aerosol, 2019)

·    reintegrating the performing arts into the unique fabric of our institution, encouraging the cross-pollination of live performance in Bickford Theatre with the exhibition life of our museum galleries.

As you witnessed with our pivot to outdoor concerts on our Back Deck during the pandemic, and with our delightful, virtual gala last spring, the Morris Museum has the renewed vigor, energy, and creativity to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead. Trusting that your support will continue well after my departure—and knowing the strength of our talented staff and committed Board—I leave the Morris Museum in the very best of hands. I thank you, one and all, for your past and continued support.


Empire Wild Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 12, 2021, 2 PM

Empire Wild blew audiences away with their Morris Museum debut on The Back Deck this past June, now they return inside the Bickford Theatre for a holiday concert that puts a fresh twist on seasonal favorites.



Extended Holiday Hours at Smithsonian Spark!Lab

Free Timed Tickets with Museum Admission

This holiday season, everyone can be an inventor (ages 5-12 years old). With two new stations, STEAM learning, and extended holiday hours, there is plenty of reason to visit in December! Holiday week hours are 11 am-4:30 pm on Monday, December 27- Sunday, January, 2 (Spark!Lab is closed on Saturday, January 1, 2022). 

Note: Spark!Lab will be closed December 24 and 25. It will be open Sunday, December 26 from 12-4 pm.

Spark!Lab at the Morris Museum is made possible by leadership support from BASF. Generous support is also made possible by Gay H. Osborn on behalf of the Blanche and George Jones Fund, Inc. 



Member First Tuesday Events for Dec. 7 

On the first Tuesday of each month, the Museum is open just for Members between 11am-2pm. 

Member Tour of Stowed Away: A Traveling Philographist and His Arctic Uke at 12 pm

We invite you to take a closer look at Stowed Away: A Traveling Philographist and His Arctic Uke! Members will tour the exhibition and meet Morris Museum's Curatorial Assistant, Michelle Graves.


Cleveland Johnson's Farewell Address at 1 pm

Join us for Dr. Cleveland Johnson's farewell address to the community.



Body Double: The Safarani Sisters

On View through April 24, 2022

Body Double features the work of identical twin Iranian artists Bahareh and Farzaneh Safarani whose creative practice exists at the intersection of visual art, new media art, and performance. The exhibition highlights their studio work, charting a path from their signature “video-paintings”—video overlays of choreographed movement projected onto figurative oil-on-canvas paintings—to new pieces that reflect the fluidity of their outlook. 

Roya Khadjavi Projects is a supporting partner of this exhibition. Exhibition support is also provided by Nazgol and Kambiz Shahbazi, Adelson Galleries, Laya Khadjavi and Hamid Biglari, Mohammad Ladjevardian, Lili Forouraghi, and Titan Engineers.


Technology in this exhibition is provided by Epson. 


Image credits (from top to bottom): Dr. Cleveland Johnson, photo courtesy of William Hauser; Empire Wild concert; Young inventors in Spark!Lab, photo courtesy of William Hauser; Photo by John Sterling Ruth Courtesy of C.F. Martin & Co. Archives; Safarani Sisters, Umbilical Cord (2021), oil on canvas and video projection, 50 x 150 inches, photo courtesy of the artists.


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Morristown, New Jersey 


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