Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Morse Museum and Visit to Orlando

In order to fly nonstop from Florida to Panama we had to go to Orlando. Everyone knows that this city as the home of Disney World and many other family attractions. On arriving, we spent two hours wandering the City Walk of Universal Studios. We both had visited the Western counterpart in LA several years ago, so had no desire to partake the amusements (a day would have cost us $150). The stroll around the lake, suggested by our son-in-law, David, was pleasant, and we decided to use a deli take-out in the park that we could later have for supper.

The next day we took a short trip to Winter Park. The approach to this town leaves something to be desired. The railroad runs through the center and some of the trains are quite large. There are no underpasses or overpasses.

Dead-ending into Rollins College is a strip that is perhaps a half-mile of shops, restaurants and galleries. We had lunch at a restaurant that just missed in taste appeal.

The owner of the very first gallery we entered suggested that we visit the Morse Museum that is at the very end of the strip. His sincerity was sufficient for us to ‘give it a go.’

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum houses the most extensive collection of the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, famed designer of Tiffany Glass, and son of the founder of the famed Jewelry store.

What a treat! L.C. was an artist first and a manufacturer of stained glass, second. Every piece had his indelible stamp, even those put together by craftsmen in his New York plant.

His most famous construct was a chapel of stained glass that he created for the Columbia Exposition in Chicago (the so-called ‘White City” because it was the first example of a city of Edison’s lights). The Morse Museum painstakingly recreated the chapel under the tutelage of Hugh F. McKean who, with his wife, Jeanette, were the driving force in the preservation of Tiffany’s work. www.morsemuseum.org/home.htm

If you are in the Orlando area, be sure to visit this gem. The cost of admission is only $3.

The next day we prepared for Murray's book signing of Screamer: The Forgotten Voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Barnes and Noble. It was fun talking to people as they entered the store and, most importantly, selling books.

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