Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

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African Queen

Creator: Unknown (Zimbabwe, Africa)
Material: Carved serpentine stone
Year: undated
On loan from Carole Haas Gravagno

Zimbabwe is a center for contemporary stone carving in Africa. Its Tengenenge School attracts self-taught artists who enjoy working in a communal setting. Their art is called Shona sculpture, named after the country's largest tribe.

Like other examples, African Queen is carved from serpentine, an extremely hard and durable stone indigenous to Zimbabwe. Typically, each artist quarries the stone for his own sculptures. Respectful of the natural texture of the material, the artist who crafted African Queen retained its rough-hewn surface in the regal headdress surrounding the artfully modeled face.

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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.