Friday, April 29, 2022

30 Year Retrospective of Black Art, the Return of Automatacon, Summer Family Programming, and much more @ The Morris Museum



For the Culture, By the Culture: 30 Years of Black Art, Activism, and Achievement

On View May 25 – September 25, 2022

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming exhibition with our partners Art in the Atrium: For the Culture, By the Culture: 30 Years of Black Art, Activism, and Achievement. This exhibition brings together prior ATA featured artists in a group retrospective that spans 30 years and features established local and national Black artists.

It will include ATA artists, masters of their craft, who have contributed to Black culture by creating impactful works for decades. Some have received national recognition like Bisa Butler, Jerry Gant, and Faith Ringgold. Many of the artists began their careers with ATA and through the organization, they received significant exposure that helped launch their artistic careers. 

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by M&T Bank. Additional support is provided by Novartis.



AutomataCon 2022

May 20-22, 2022

Gathering people from around the world, the convention aspires to share ideas, build relationships, and grow interest in automata new and old. Beginners as well as some of the premier artists, collectors, historians, and authors in the automaton community plan to be in attendance. The convention will include a variety of private and public programming, including social gatherings, museum tours, panel discussions, live demonstrations, workshops, presentations, and exhibitors. 

The AutomataCon will kick off with a social reception on Friday night, followed by two full days of programs, including a mini film festival and a maker's mash-up. The latter consists of “shop talk” on tools and techniques. Traditionally, the talks and presentations relate automata with art movements, magic, and public entertainment. Programming also includes a kinetic artists panel and a presentation of “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” with automaton builder Bradley Litwin. The program schedule will be posted on as the date draws near. Featured attendees include upcoming and well-known automata artists such as David Bowman, Rajiv Dholakia, Chris Fitch, Tom Haney, Aaron Kramer, Brad Litwin, and many more. 

On Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, young inventors and can take part in the action and make their own automata in a "make and take" activity in the Spark!Lab. Free with museum admission. 



All Vows: A Live Arts World Premiere!

Three Performances: Friday, May 6, 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 7, 8:00 pm; and Sunday, May 8, 2:00 pm

Tickets: $40.00

Member Tickets: $35.00

History, memory, and imagination collide in this new work of puppet theater about the possibly true life of Poppy, a Russian Jewish refugee raised in China. Created and performed by the writer and puppeteer, Sam Jay Gold, All Vows features five hand-carved wooden puppets, each modeled after Sam’s own grandfather at different ages in his life. The show explores what it means to suddenly realize you’re both an inheritor and active participant in your family history—and that that history is a mess.

Mother's Day Promotion, Sunday, May 8

In honor of Mother's Day, children 18 and under can come for free when attending with a parent for the Sunday, May 8 performance of All Vows. In order to access and reserve these free tickets along with a purchase, you must contact the box office at 973-971-3706. 

All Vows was first developed at St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab with Matt Acheson and Lake Simons as Lab Co-Directors at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY, in 2019. Additional development was made possible with the generous support of The Jim Henson Foundation. All Vows was created partially in residence at Live Arts at the Morris Museum.



Shadow Puppet Workshop with Sam Jay Gold

Sunday, May 1 at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission

Located in the Theater Lobby

Together with puppeteer Sam Jay Gold, learn about the characters, stories, and techniques found in the living tradition of Indonesian Wayang Kulit. Then make your own shadow puppet! All the materials are provided in this opportunity to learn, experiment, and create your own puppet inspired by a centuries-old form of shadow puppetry and storytelling. Each workshop lasts one hour.


Members First Tuesday

Tuesday, May 3, at 11:30 am

Join us as Puppeteer/theatre artist Sam Jay Gold, alongside Brett Wellman Messenger, Curatorial Director of Live Arts, discuss his long-anticipated world premiere, All Vows. This intensely personal work was developed during Gold’s residency at the Morris Museum during the fall of 2021. Having studied traditional forms of puppetry worldwide from the Czech Republic, Japan, and Bali, his practice has been rooted in rich and diverse traditions and has been supported and promoted by the Jim Hensen Foundation, St. Ann's Warehouse, BAM, and the New York State Puppetry Festival.



Kinetic Kids and Summer Art Classes

Thursdays in June, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

For ages 8-10

This June, gear up for Kinetic Kids! An art class where art, sound, motion, science, and engineering connect! Over the course of 4 weeks, students will create kinetic art and automata with inspiration from Morris Museum’s own juried exhibition, Timeless Movements: A Cache of Kinetic Art.


Artful Afternoons

Weekdays in July and August, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

For ages 5-7

Also, check out our new summer program called Artful Afternoons where each week is inspired by a Museum exhibition. These dynamic and unique classes will be offered for four weeks this summer. Due to the variety of media and projects offered returning students are welcome!



Image credits (from top to bottom): Bisa Butler, "Basquiat", 2015, Mixed media; Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012), "Seated Mother and Child", 2011, Bronze; David Driskell (1931–2020), "Woman in Interior", 2008, Silkscreen. Photographs by Elizabeth Catlett & the Morris Museum. All Vows images courtesy of the artist. Education program images courtesy of the Museum.


Morris Museum

6 Normandy Heights Road 

Morristown, New Jersey 


Box Office: 973.971.3700

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