Centennial Campaign

100 Years of Excellence and Innovation

Planning Our Tomorrow Starts Today

From its inception in a curio cabinet in the Morristown Neighborhood House in 1913 to the move in 1963 to its current home in the former Frelinghuysen Mansion, the Morris Museum has been serving the community and the surrounding region through thought provoking exhibitions, stimulating education programs, exciting family events and exhilarating live theater. From fine art to fossils, from music to molecules, there is something for everyone at the Morris Museum.

In 2013 the Morris Museum will celebrate its Centennial, a rare achievement for any cultural institution and one that deserves to be honored with accolades and philanthropic support. Please join us as we all sponsor tomorrow so that future generations can open their minds and uplift their spirits, celebrate creativity and scientific discovery in a great cultural institution and experience all that the Morris Museum has to offer.

As one of New Jersey’s largest and most dynamic cultural institutions, and the third largest museum in the state, the Morris Museum has served generations of families that grew up gazing at the giant brown bear, exploring geology in the Rock and Mineral Gallery, and laughing at children’s theater in the Bickford Theatre. They have discovered dinosaurs of pre-historic New Jersey and constellations of the night sky. They have marveled at the creativity of the craft artisan, thrilled at the imagination of the fine artist, and been inspired by engaging lecturers.

A Regional Cultural Center


The Morris Museum serves more than 200,000 adults and children annually, evolving over the past 100 years to the Morris Junior Museum in the Maple Avenue School and on to its present home, led for 25 years by the extraordinary original director, Chester H. Newkirk. The physical plant grew from 1956 through 1985 and has continued to grow with the addition of a new wing in 2007 to house the renowned 750-piece Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of mechanical musical instruments and automata. With this expansion, the Museum entrance was transformed with the 2-story pavilion, adding a modern note, which blends with the original redbrick mansion. This recent expansion captures the essence of the Morris Museum, a blending of the old and the new, an eclectic mix of historic masterpieces and contemporary innovations.

Can this continue for another 100 years? Of course it can! if you are there to help the Morris Museum fulfill its mission through your generous participation in the Centennial Campaign.

Exhilarating Exhibitions


Planning a new exhibition not only requires imagination, curatorial expertise and scholarly research, it also requires financial support, whether in the guise of underwriting, individual contributions, or grants. The Centennial Campaign will provide essential funds to ensure that the Morris Museum will continue to offer the stimulating and crowd- pleasing exhibits that have been seen by an increasing number of visitors. Maintaining a thought- provoking exhibition schedule which may focus on fine arts, cutting edge crafts, historic costumes, scientific discovery, or popular culture requires financial support.

Stimulating Education Programs


Each improvement and addition has enhanced the Morris Museum experience, which is so personally stimulating and rewarding in an accessible and conveniently located venue. Through its growth over many decades, the Museum has remained a teaching institution at the cusp of the interconnection of the arts and sciences, grounded in personal enrichment for people of all ages and interests. Thousands of teachers and students visit our galleries and the Bickford Theatre. Many also experience the Museum through its outreach programs and school loan department. Super Science Saturdays, a robotics workshop, and art programs for young children and teens, stimulate, educate and entertain. Our youngest members are invited in for Tot Tours

The future holds exciting opportunities to enhance the experiences of our visitors through expanded studio art programs, hands-on science learning, and exciting discovery labs. Plans for the revitalization of our many family-friendly exhibits will emphasize interactive experience for ages 3-12. Worthwhile education programs require your financial support for staff, instructors and the technical wizards who make interactive exhibits engaging. This is your opportunity to continue the tradition of this teaching institution by assisting the Museum in offering meaningful education in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Dynamic Theatre


As the only museum in New Jersey with a professional theatre, the Morris Museum proudly offers children, families and adults year round entertainment in the 312-seat Bickford Theatre. Popular programs include the Main Stage Series, consisting of drama, comedies, thrillers and musicals; two Children’s Theatre Series, and the Jazz Concert Showcase. The Bickford also presents special concerts, lectures and events throughout the year. These wide ranging programs can include Broadway reviews, dance performances, comedians, magicians, holiday concerts, films, and more. Educational opportunities abound for children and adults with the Brightest Star School for the Performing Arts. The Centennial Campaign will ensure that theater lovers will continue to enjoy many entertaining and enriching experiences in theatre, music and dance in the Bickford Theatre.

Care of the Permanent Collection


The Guinness Collection, its striking exhibit design and state-of-the-art viewable collection storage space has established a benchmark for care of the Museum’s permanent collections. All of the Museum’s collections require proper care and stewardship to be preserved for the next 100 years. Collection storage, preservation and conservation are a significant facet of the campaign, a need that is vital to the Museum’s future.

There is excellence here and there is innovation. There is also excitement about the future role of the Morris Museum in the community.

None of this will continue without your help. This is your opportunity to participate in a once in a lifetime historic event: The Centennial Campaign of the Morris Museum.

For more information, please contact the Advancement Office at 973.971.3702