Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

Notice: Our website is currently undergoing maintenance and information may not be current. For assistance please contact

Art at Morris Arboretum

Art at Morris Arboretum

New Exhibitions

Artists in the Garden: PAFA at Morris Arboretum

On display March 1 - July 26; Visitor Center Upper Gallery.

Opening Reception: Sunday, March 1 | 1:00 - 3:00pm

Free with garden admission. Free for Morris Arboretum Members and PAFA students, faculty, and staff who present a PAFA I.D.

This exhibition features artwork by students, alumni and faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), held in conjunction with the PAFA exhibition, Artists in the Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887 – 1920, February 13 – May 24, 2015. For more information, visit

Artists in the Garden

Pictured: Bill Hansen; Garden 9
Inkjet Pigment Print, 2012

Patrick Dougherty Stickwork; A Waltz in the Woods

Now on display in the Sculpture Garden.
Free with garden admission.

See the newest sculpture created by internationally renowned artist Patrick Dougherty. Designed and built on-site this artwork is composed entirely of sticks and saplings. Learn more about this exhibit.

Patrick Dougherty

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


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.

Back to top

Back to top

Construction Notice:

Parking Lot Closed September 21, 22 and 23.

Morris Arboretum’s parking lot is being repaved September 21, 22 and 23. Our parking lot is a demonstration lot for its sustainability. Installed 25 years ago as one of the first of its kind, the parking lot has filtered into the earth about 31,863,304 gallons of precipitation from the Wissahickon watershed. But the time has come for it to be renewed.

The entire parking lot will be closed September 21, 22 and 23. Auxiliary parking will be available at the bottom of the hill (near the kiosk) and shuttle service will be provided to the top of the hill. ADA access will be limited. No buses will be permitted beyond the kiosk.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are committed to keeping our parking lot sustainable and our visitors safe. Thanks for your patience.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.