May 26, 2021

Morven Museum & Garden Thanks Community for Continued Support

To the Editor:

Thank you to our community for its amazing continued support. We are delighted to share that this year’s Morven in May weekend was the most successful in our history, despite having the Garden Party “blown” into the following evening by unusually high winds. The plant sale also surpassed all pre-pandemic sales records. Our event chairs Ashley Formento, Liza Morehouse, Martha Sword, Elizabeth Wislar, and Marcia Zweig were superlative hostesses, and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

We were delighted by the response to our partnership with the Arts Council of Princeton, with “Paint Out Princeton at Morven in May” hosting record numbers of plein air painters throughout the weekend safely painting on our grounds and producing our first online gallery of their work which can be seen at this link:

Morven was one of the first New Jersey museums to reopen its galleries in July 2020 following all CDC and safety protocols after keeping our 5-acre property in the heart of Princeton open for passive visitorship throughout the shutdown. We continue to work hard to meet people where they are comfortable; we expanded our garden tours, outdoor history strolls, and turned our traditional weekly tea into no-contact box lunches in the garden and broadened our array of offerings to include presenters from around the world zoomed in for Morven specific content, all features we probably wouldn’t have so quickly adopted had the pandemic not necessitated out-of-the-box thinking.

Morven was on track to have its highest visitation numbers of all time when we had to close our doors in March 2020 and while we are slowly seeing visitors return, we know the climb back is uphill. Taking the lessons of the pandemic with us, we plan to have our in-person events also have a virtual component, keeping and ideally growing our distant audience, while inviting those who may not be ready for on-site interaction to peek inside, virtually.

We developed a free monthly virtual program “Morven Moments” as part travelogue, part museum resource, to give the public glimpses inside the museum and encourage dialogue with our curator of education and public programs and a longtime docent while keeping a robust schedule of our normal programs and lectures. We began online ticketing to control capacity restrictions which will carry forward to ensure a comfortable visitor flow.

We are heartened by the members who stayed with us throughout the pandemic and welcomed members from across the community and globe virtually while our doors were shut, reminding us that the primary lesson an historic site like Morven Museum & Garden teaches us is that there is always tomorrow. 

We thank you so very much and look forward to seeing you at Morven, soon!

Jill Barry
Executive Director, Morven Museum & Garden