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Morris Museum

143 Reviews
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Morris Museum

143 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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David P wrote a review Feb. 2020
Parsippany, New Jersey1,292 contributions102 helpful votes
+1
First time visit to the Morris Museum. I went to view the current exhibit "Aerosol," an exhibit of graffiti and street art. The exhibit is amazing especially since all of the pieces are originals painted in the museum. I then ventured to the other parts of the museum and was impressed with each exhibit. The Guinness Collection of mechanical music instruments if fascinating with plenty of hands on interactive things to do. I also enjoyed the other current exhibits. Daniel Rosin's PomPom mirror is a cool object with black and white pompom tufts that change colors as you move back and forth in front of it. The Adventures of Baron Von Steubon and Cromwell: A Kinetic Tale by David Bowman is a collection of metal kinetic sculptures that tell a story. Tap on the foot pedals and the sculptures come to life. Everyday People: Mel Leipzig’s Figurative Realism is a gorgeous display of colorful paintings that you just need to stand in front of for a few minutes. Throw in the other exhibits including the model railroad and dinosaurs and there is something for people of all ages. Looking forward to future exhibits.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Karen P wrote a review Feb. 2020
64 contributions20 helpful votes
The Morris Museum is a small museum with a big collection and a surprise around every corner. We stopped here specifically to see the Guinness Collection of mechanical musical instruments and automata from the 1800s and early 1900s, and we weren’t disappointed. In the “Musical Machines” exhibit, instruments range from intricate musical snuffboxes to elaborate player pianos, and from the Encore automatic banjo to the Poppers Rex Orchestrion with an orchestra of instruments stuffed inside. The “Living Dolls” exhibit features exquisitely detailed moving figures: a magician clown whose head disappears, a bicycle-riding monkey, a Pierrot writing a letter, a maid dusting a portrait with moving eyes, and many more. Because they are so delicate, the automata are kept behind glass, but there are videos of them in action and a daily live demonstration at 2:00 PM. In addition to the Guinness Collection, The Morris had many permanent exhibits and several special exhibits that delighted us: an extensive display of rocks and minerals, a wonderful model train room, a walk-through “story” illustrated with intricate mechanical sculptures of fantastical creatures, and a gallery full of street art and graffiti. Another surprise was discovering two floors of the Neo-Georgian Frelinghuysen mansion designed by Stanford White built into the central lobby, with the furnishings and grand staircase intact. In spite of their diverse collection, the museum was very easy to navigate, and the on-site parking was free. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Tom and Heather wrote a review Feb. 2020
Swedesboro, New Jersey788 contributions34 helpful votes
I leave this review with the thought that I will go back and try again on a day when they are not catering to kids for a magic and chocolate themed day. That being said they are a NARM museum so we didn’t have to pay the $10 per person admission since we are members of the Penn Museum. I wish they had a cafeteria or some option of snacks other than junk food in the gift shop. The biggest highlight was the art gallery and the automaton music boxes and the way they told the history. Although the art gallery changes the music display is a Permanent exhibit. I don’t know if it is a permanent exhibit but they also had a really interesting art exhibit intertwining a story and mechanical interpretations of the story. I excitedly went into the gift shop wanting to buy the book to share with my students. I was really disappointed to see that the book is $80.00 and a plastic bound set of pictures of the book is $30.00. I’m a teacher that is way to expensive but i am really disappointed to not be able to share it with my students. The bottom line, my husband and I love to get out to these places and it is a real source of enjoyment and relaxing. Today was not. The kids in this place were out of control and rude. It was really over crowded and the exhibits did not flow well.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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ScenicTrek wrote a review Nov. 2019
New Jersey1,558 contributions363 helpful votes
+1
We visited here on a Saturday in July. The museum is nestled among trees, bushes, and flowers and sits atop a small hill on a corner property surrounded by well-tended lawns. There are some picnic benches and a few sculptures. The entranceway has a decorative brick gate. The grounds are aesthetically pleasing and create a peaceful atmosphere. As the front sign indicates, the museum is dedicated to art, science, history, and performing arts. There are three levels to the museum. The upper level has (at the time of our visit) the Steampunk Kinetic Art displays, a conference room and a few smaller galleries (dinosaurs, geological timeline with fossils). The main level has the entrance pavilion, the mansion galleries, the Guinness Collection, the museum court, the gift shop, the Bickford Theater, and restrooms. The lower level has classrooms, the Guinness Viewable Storage area, the Guinness Resource Center, and restrooms. Part of the charm of the museum is the fact that a structure was built around a pre-existing mansion. The entrance pavilion is an eye-catching structure that is two stories tall. One side of the mansion (an external wall) is to the left, a wall of glass panels is directly ahead behind the admission desk, and the gift shop is to the right. Children will find the model trains and railroad displays (two of them) to be a source of nearly endless fascination, complete with a bunch of moving components that can be activated with the press of a button. Great attention to detail was obviously used when making this display, and museum patrons will be delighted to see some very recognizable elements like trucks bearing advertising for Chips Ahoy, Planters Peanuts, Oscar Mayer products, and Oreo cookies and a billboard for Life Savers candy and local references like street signs for NJIT, Rutgers University, NJPAC and the good old NJ Turnpike. You could spend quite some time just taking in all the elements of this display. The mineral display is really quite impressive, with specimens from around the world and samples of the three kinds of rock (sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic). There are some samples that are placed on a shelf in front of the display cases so that people, especially children, can actually touch them and see them up close. Some of the highlights of the mineral display include a large piece of petrified wood, a fluorescent mineral display (the minerals glow under UV light), and a piece of a large amethyst geode that patrons can touch. Equally impressive is their gallery with historical letters that includes documents from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Edison, and Charles Darwin. The Guinness Collection forms the heart of the museum’s collection, and it is truly amazing. It consists of antique mechanical musical instruments and automata (performing mechanical figures) spanning the late 16th through early 20th centuries. Here you can see cylinder and disc music boxes, a player piano, a fairground organ, a barrel organ, and a host of motion devices, to name a few. The automata are truly fascinating, and they display an extraordinary degree of detail and craftsmanship. They are all encased in glass displays, but there is a small sitting area with five videos that show the automata working. They are absolutely worth watching because these devices are truly a marvel to behold. In my estimation, the Guinness Collection alone is worth the price of admission to the museum. Other collections include American Indian (textiles, bead work, basketry) and the Dodge Room (paintings, sculptures, decorative clock). There are rotating (temporary) displays as well. During our visit the featured exhibitions were Bob Gruen (Rock ‘n’ Roll pictures), Steampunk Fashion (men’s and women’s fashion, locomotives, and airships), and Pen to Paper (historical documents). There is also the Dinosaur Den, a clean and open space on the second floor that is clearly meant for children. It houses a T-Rex skull, fossils, dinosaur eggs, a large dinosaur mural, and dinosaur footprints painted on the floor. Helpful Things to Know: 1) The museum is closed on Mondays. 2) The museum has an elevator and hence is handicap accessible. 3) Their parking lot, which is divided into several sections, is substantial and it surrounds the museum on three sides at the north end. It can accommodate 150 cars or so (for both the museum and Bickford Theater patrons). Parking is free. 4) Except for a few restrictions, photography of the displays and the mansion is allowed. 5) The museum is close to other attractions, most notably the Washington’s Headquarters Museum, the Schuyler-Hamilton House Museum, and the Morristown Green, all of which are within one mile or so. Hence you could make an entire Saturday, for example, out of your visit. I would absolutely recommend this museum. In fact, given that some of the exhibits change, I will almost certainly return to see what else they offer. If my review was helpful, please consider clicking the thumbs-up button. Thank you!
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Justin W wrote a review Sep. 2019
Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey2,167 contributions583 helpful votes
This is my second trip to the Morris Museum and I have to say that there is something for everyone in this small suburban museum.The two floors have so much to do and see for everyone in the family. The kids will enjoy the dinosaur exhibitions and the mineral room as well as the Native American displays. The automata with the music boxes and mechanical figures of people and animals is delightful and engaging and make sure you take the 2:00pm tour and demo on the objects. That is interesting! They displayed all the bar and circus related pieces and showed how some of the antique people worked. Then it was off to see the Bob Gruen, the famous photographer, exhibition where you get to see pictures of rock stores and the punk rock movement in the 70's and 80's. Across from that is the Dodge Room which is an original room from the Frelinghuysen Mansion. It was all the artwork from Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge. There is something for everyone here and you will be amazed how three hours can go so fast. The museum is reasonable and when you are done there are loads of cultural sites in Morristown to see or just visit the Green which is ten minutes down the road. It is worth the trip.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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