6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ 07960 - United States
Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, multifaceted arts and cultural institution serving the public through its exhibitions and performances, which strive to interpret the past and discover the future through art, sound, and motion. The Museum is home to the historic and internationally-significant Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. The Museum’s Bickford Theatre is a 312-seat performing-arts facility, offering unique programming in film, jazz, and live performance through its innovative series, Live Arts. As New Jersey’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, Morris Museum launched Spark!Lab, a dynamic, Smithsonian-created learning space which will inspire young visitors to create, collaborate, and innovate.
"Federico Solmi: Joie de Vivre"
Federico Solmi is a multimedia artist who examines the absurdities of the human experience through the lenses of colonialism, nationalism, religion, and consumerism. Born in 1973 in Bologna, Italy, Solmi has lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York, since 1999. His figurative narratives reflect the perspective of a cultural voyeur in the United States, questioning the nationalistic and revisionist histories often presented as historical truths. Solmi creates narrative video sequences built from traditional techniques of painting, drawing, and sculpture combined with technological approaches of animation, video game design, programming, and virtual reality. Through these narrative video constructs, Solmi presents a satirical, dystopian vision of lurid colors and grotesque imagery which challenge society’s constructed memory and historical mythos. The art of Paolo Uccello, Giorgio Morandi, and Giorgio di Chirico serve as reference for his visual compositions, while the writings of Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Oriana Fallaci serve as inspiration for his social and political commentary.
"For the Culture, by the Culture: 30 Years of Black Art, Activism, and Achievement"
Bringing together prior ATA featured artists in a group retrospective that spans 30 years and features established local and national Black artists. Although ATA is not politically affiliated and never set out to be an activist organization, this exhibit honors ATA’s activism because Black art is inherently political. Over the years, some of their exhibited works have caused controversy, especially because ATA’s exhibits have mainly existed in a public building that houses courtrooms and County officials. This has not deterred the organization or its artists from creating authentic works and letting personal expression speak truth to power. "For the Culture, by the Culture" 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.
"Contemporary Spin: The Guinness Collection Re/Imagined"
Graduate students in the Museum Professions program at Seton Hall University explored the Morris Museum’s historic Guinness Collection, mining it for contemporary stories these mechanical musical instruments and automata might tell. Four themes emerged from this process: stereotypes and identity, public music, technology and innovation, and migration and memory. This exhibition is the result of their work. Organized for Seton Hall University by Professor Greg Stevens, Director of the Master of Arts in Museum Professions program; and student Project Managers Christopher Bohm and Julie Golt, M.A. Candidates.
Daily Guinness Demonstration at 2 PM
See, hear, touch, and explore! The Guinness Workshop is open to museum visitors with daily demonstrations of mechanical musical instruments in an interactive setting.
Free timed tickets at the front desk. From Noon to 4 PM
Kids experience the spark of invention in this dynamic space, where learning and play come together. Spark!Lab offers any child (and accompanied by an adult), a new informal approach to hands-on learning.Created by the Smithsonian, Spark!Lab ignites kids’ ingenuity with fun, hands-on challenges. Instead of following instructions, kids tap into their natural creativity to tackle engineering and design challenges in Spark!Lab’s projects stations.
Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.