Morven Museum & Garden

Past Exhibitions


Past Exhibitions


Masters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto

November 15, 2018 — May 12, 2019

Morven partnered with the John F. Peto Studio Museum,  to present a new look at trompe l’oeil art in New Jersey.  Trompe l’oeil, pronounced “tromp loi,” is a French phrase meaning “to deceive the eye,” which is used to describe paintings that create the illusion of a three dimensional scene.  


A Gentleman’s Pursuit: The Commodore’s Greenhouse

February 16, 2018 — October 21, 2018

Morven is partnering with the archaeologists at Hunter Research to help bring the Commodore’s greenhouse to life. Morven will explore the history of the Commodore’s greenhouse - presenting archaeological artifacts, contemporary greenhouse designs, and a study of popular plants that the Commodore may have grown. This exhibit will give Morven a wonderful opportunity to focus on its unique garden history, placing it with the context of American nineteenth century greenhouse architecture and practice.

Ships, Piers and Smoke, 1941,  John  R.  Grabach  (1886  -  1981)_80%1.jpg

Newark and the Culture of Art: 1900–1960

June 16, 2017 — January 28, 2018

Exploring the unique combination of art and industry that made Newark, New Jersey a magnet for modern artists in the early twentieth century, Morven’s exhibition celebrates the culture of creativity that flourished alongside John Cotton Dana’s Newark Museum.

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Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey

November 18, 2016 — May 21, 2017

Traveling from the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, this exhibition features over forty photographs of the rock legend and video interviews with the show’s five photographers: Danny Clinch, Ed Gallucci, Eric Meola, Barry Schneier, Pamela Springsteen, and Frank Stefanko.

Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh leaving Roosevelt Field on Long Island, 1929. (Keystone-FranceContributor)..jpg

Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age

November 13, 2015 — October 23, 2016

Spanning the twentieth century, the exhibition is the first to explore the Lindberghs as a couple, examining Charles and Anne as imperfect American icons.

Original hand-painted crest rail detail depicting a compote of berries on a Windsor side chair made by Ebenezer P. Rose, Jr., of Trenton, NJ, ca. 1815-25_80%1.jpg

Of the Best Materials and Good Workmanship: 19th Century New Jersey Chairmaking

April 23 — October 18, 2015

This exhibition explored the craft of chairmaking in New Jersey from the 1790s to the end of the nineteenth century. This was an era when chairmakers worked actively in virtually every corner of the state, from large cities and towns to small crossroads communities.

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Hail Specimen of Female Art! New Jersey Schoolgirl Needlework, 1726-1860

October 3, 2014 — March 29, 2015

This landmark exhibition is the first to focus on the important contribution of New Jersey in the creation of schoolgirl needlework in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


Micah Williams: Portrait Artist

April 11 — September 14, 2014

This exhibition presents an unmatched look at New Jersey’s itinerant portrait painter Micah Williams (1782–1837) and tells a story about the new America of the 19th century. This exhibition has been organized by Monmouth County Historical Association.

Above image Windmill Island, Delaware River, George Emerick Essig (1838-1926). Watercolor on paper. Collection of Richard W. Updike..jpg

The Age of Sail: A New Jersey Collection

November 15, 2013 — March 23, 2014

Morven Museum & Garden is proud to present the first public appearance of this unmatched collection of New Jersey maritime artifacts and art assembled by New Jersey collector Richard Updike. This exhibit, featuring over 100 objects, explores the history of American shipbuilding, sail-making, naval warfare, shipwrecks and rescue.

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Coastal Impressions: Painters of the Jersey Shore, 1880-1940

April 26 — October 27, 2013

Through the works of Edward Boulton, Wyatt Eaton, Albert Reinhart, Alice Doughton, Julius Golz, Charles Freeman, Ida and Clara Stroud, John F. Peto, Mildred Miller, Thomas Anshutz, Hugh Campbell, and Carrie Sanborn (to name a few), this exhibition illustrates the history of artists who lived, worked and drew inspiration from Jersey’s resplendent shores.


The Pine Barrens: A Legacy of Preservation | Photographs by Richard Speedy

January 25 — April 14, 2013

Featuring the photographs of Princeton native Richard Speedy, this exhibition captures the unique beauty of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Oakland, N.J. Between 1836 and 1848 ARTIST William E. Tucker (signed lower left, “Drawn on the spot by Wm. E. Tucker, Philada.”). Pen and ink, and watercolor, on paper. 8 x 13½ in._80%2.jpg

Portrait of Place: Paintings, Drawings and Prints of New Jersey, 1761–1898 | From the Collection of Joseph J. Felcone

September 28 — January 13, 2013

Morven Museum & Garden is proud to present the first public appearance of this unmatched collection of New Jersey graphic history assembled by New Jersey collector and bibliographer Joseph Felcone. This exhibit, featuring 120 original works executed between 1761 and 1898, offers a visual iconography of the state beginning with a pre-Revolutionary landscape and ending with a birdseye view of a growing New Jersey city on the eve of the twentieth century.

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The Garden at Night | Photographs by Linda Rutenberg

June 15 — September 16, 2012

A theatrical and sensuous photographic journey through the mysterious realm of the nocturnal garden. Photographer Linda Rutenberg has traveled the world to capture spectacular gardens that spring to life while most of us sleep.

Enthusiastic puzzle _ Lonni Sue Johnson_80%1 copy.jpg

Puzzles of the Brain: An Artist’s Journey through Amnesia

January 26, 2012 — June 3, 2012

Morven Museum & Garden hosted Puzzles of the Brain: An Artist’s Journey through Amnesia, an exhibition on loan from The Walters Museum of Art in Baltimore, MD.

The Walters partnered with the Cognitive Science Department of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Science at Johns Hopkins University to present a focus show exploring the impact of severe brain damage on the life and creativity of an artist.

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The Stars and Stripes: Fabric of the American Spirit™

July 1, 2011 — January 8, 2012

This exhibition featured one hundred flags from The Pierce Collection of American Parade Flags, tracing the history of our national emblem from its humble beginnings in 1777 into the twentieth century.


The Ripple Effect

September 1 — October 30, 2011

Morven Museum & Garden presented The Ripple Effect, a water-themed outdoor juried sculpture exhibition, in September and October of 2011. The exhibition was inspired by a collaborative initiative of the Garden State Gardens Consortium entitled “Liquid Assets: Using and Conserving Water in Our Gardens.”

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Ribbon of Life | The Delaware and Raritan Canal

March 2 — June 19, 2011

Over 180 years ago, Commodore Robert Field Stockton, owner and resident of Morven, obtained a charter from the New Jersey State Legislature for the construction of the Delaware & Raritan Canal. The Ribbon of Life: The Delaware & Raritan Canal, on loan from the D&R Greenway Land Trust, graced the elegant rooms once inhabited by the Commodore. Featuring a collection of over fifty images, this exhibit explored the canal as a vibrant site of leisure and industry throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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Morven Through the Centuries

November 20, 2010 — February 20, 2011

A home for over 200 years, Morven’s residents have shaped its history from pre-revolutionary days well into the 20th century. This exhibit explores the diverse objects that make up Morven’s permanent collection while interpreting every generation of this historic home’s inhabitants. From photographs, to furniture, to archaeology and film, Morven Through the Centuries, provides a peek into Morven’s fascinating past.

The Kennedys Portrait of a Family: Photographs by Richard Avedon

August 7 — October 31, 2010

This exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History provides a behind the scenes look at the legendary first family as seen through the lens of acclaimed fashion photographer Richard Avedon. The exhibit presents twenty-seven photographs taken in January 1961 of the President-elect John F. Kennedy and his young family. The black and white photographs offered a snapshot of the new first family on the brink of Kennedy’s inauguration.

Cretaceous Life of New Jersey , 1877, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (1807–1894), Princeton University Art Museum

Cretaceous Life of New Jersey, 1877, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (1807–1894), Princeton University Art Museum


Rocks and Dinos!

November 1, 2009 — July 2010

This exhibit displays rocks, fossils, and paintings by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins that shows what the state of New Jersey was like during the time of dinosaurs. Several of the animals and fossils on display had a direct connection to New Jersey.

Martin Luther King Jr. with Coretta Scott King, Yolanda Denise King , 1956, Dan Weiner (1919–1959), National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Martin Luther King Jr. with Coretta Scott King, Yolanda Denise King, 1956, Dan Weiner (1919–1959), National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution


Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African-American Portraits

July 4—September 27, 2009

The National Portrait Gallery and the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture created this exhibition of five galleries of historic photographs to highlight African-American individuals whose passion, determination, and talent played an influential role in shaping notions of race and status over the last 150 years.

Boudinot Collection at Morven. Photograph, 2004. Bruce White.

Boudinot Collection at Morven. Photograph, 2004. Bruce White.


The Boudinot Collection of Princeton University Art Museum

2014 — July 2018

This exhibit displays late 18th and early 19th century portraits, furniture, and decorative art that belonged to Elias Boudinot IV, brother of Annis Boudinot Stockton.


Picturing Princeton 1783: The Nation’s Capital

July 1, 2008 — June 2009

The “Picturing Princeton: 1783” exhibit is in honor of the 225th anniversary of Princeton acting as the nation’s capital when it became the temporary seat of Congress. This exhibit includes images and rare documents, including letters written by George Washington.


Ben Again!

December 5, 2007 — March 2008

This exhibit displays a large collection of Benjamin Franklin pop culture memorabilia on loan from Roy E. Goodman, showing Franklin's continuing influence today.


The Large House in Miniature

December 6, 2006 — September, 2008

This exhibit displays a custom dollhouse of the Large House of Flemington, New Jersey. This dollhouse was created by Jo Talbott.


Wilson 150

April 18, 2007 — November 18, 2007

Organized by the Woodrow Wilson House, a National Trust Historic Site in Washington D.C., this traveling exhibit displays Wilson’s political achievements as well as his less familiar private life through political memorabilia, personal effects, and photographic images. The exhibit also shows Wilson’s connection to New Jersey and Morven.


A Place to Take Root: A History of Flowerpots in North America

April 5 — May 28, 2006

This exhibition is the first that is devoted to the evolution of the common flower pot from Egypt up to the present day. During this exhibit, over one hundred pots are on display, with an emphasis on flowering of American designs in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as contemporary designs.

Snedeker and the mural,  Virginia Snedeker (1909–2000), May, 1942.

Snedeker and the mural, Virginia Snedeker (1909–2000), May, 1942.


Capturing the Spirit: Virginia Snedeker and the American Scene

April 5 2006 — November 26, 2006

The exhibition uncovers the artwork of Stockton descendant Virginia Snedeker (1909–2000). A regular contributor of interior and cover art for The New Yorker during the 1930s through the 1950s, Snedeker also completed a post office murals for the Federal Works Agency. The exhibit is drawn from a collection of over 400 paintings, drawings, photographs, and memorabilia.


Gifts to Morven

December 2005; thereafter the paintings, sculpture, and furniture remains

Complementing the “Festival of Trees” event at Morven, this exhibit displays a selection of paintings, sculpture, and furniture from Morven’s permanent collection. All of the objects directly relate to Morven’s history.


Proprietors and Adventurers: A Rediscovery of Colonial New Jersey

September — October 30, 2005

In this exhibit, the New Jersey State Archives offers visitors a first-ever view of reproductions of rare documentary treasures dating from the beginnings of New Jersey as a British colony. The exhibit includes eleven rare colonial maps and manuscripts.


Rookwood Garden Tiles at Greenwood Gardens

October 16, 2004 — October 2005

This exhibit, in conjunction with the public opening of Rookwood Garden Tiles at Greenwood Gardens, displays items from the garden.

Equestrian Portrait of the Stockton Family,  c. 1865, Henry Collins Bishop

Equestrian Portrait of the Stockton Family, c. 1865, Henry Collins Bishop


Selections from the New Jersey State Museum

September 2004

During this exhibit, furniture and paintings made in New Jersey between 1700–1830 are on view at Morven while the State Museum is closed for renovation.