Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

Notice: Our main phone line is temporarily out of service. Please call 215.247.5778 in the interim.

Art at Morris Arboretum

Art at Morris Arboretum

Current Exhibitions

Home Tweet Home: Designer Birdhouses

On display through September 1; Located throughout the garden.

Crafted by artists, talented individuals and bird lovers of all kinds, more than 30 birdhouses will be on display throughout the garden. Free with admission.


Birds in Their Habitats:
Images from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

On display April through October; Upper Gallery.

With more than 130,000 images, VIREO (Visual Resources in Ornithology), is the world’s largest collection of bird images. The photos in this exhibit were selected to represent both resident and migratory birds that can be spotted at the Arboretum. VIREO Director, Doug Wechsler will be on hand at the opening reception to provide more information on the project. Free with admission.


Birds in Their Habitats

Upper Gallery Exhibitions

Located in the Widener Visitor Center, the Upper Gallery is an exhibition space showcasing fine photography and other two-dimensional artwork.

Exhibitions change periodically. Artists interested in exhibiting their work should contact Bob Gutowski, Director of Public Programs, at gutowski@upenn.edu.


Sculptures

The structures in the gardens at Morris Arboretum span the centuries. The Morrises not only designed many features themselves, but also employed the finest local architects of their time. The knowledge that their garden is now on the National Register of Historic Places would have pleased John and Lydia, who were active in historic preservation. The Arboretum has also won recent recognition as one of the nation's best-designed public landscapes.

John and Lydia Morris, who founded the Morris Arboretum, introduced fine arts into their Victorian estate landscape. Sculpture, landscape design and architecture were brought together in harmony with educational and scientific pursuits.

This concept was rekindled in the 1970s in an ongoing effort to create a visual and cultural counterpoint to the Arboretum's scientific mission.

In 1983, the Advisory Board of Managers unanimously adopted a resolution recommending "the acquisition, display and interpretation of a fine arts collection be developed as an integral part of the Arboretum's landscape design and living collection."

The primary goal at Morris Arboretum is to develop very fine gardens and to make sure that art is a part of those gardens. Garden design is a fine art and sculpture is a part of that fine art. The landscape and the art should complement one another. The biggest challenge is to incorporate contemporary art into what is essentially a Victorian landscaped garden in a way that doesn't clash with the surroundings.

Interpretations for selected works were written by Judith E. Stein, Ph.D, a Philadelphia-based curator and critic.


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