The Retirees in the South East USA – Winter Park to Daytona Beach

We rose the next day to leave Summer Bay Resort and drive to Daytona via Winter Park. Kerry had found in her research a museum containing the works of Louis Tiffany which she thought would be interesting. Arriving at Winter Park, we quickly found The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Parking at the rear of the building we suddenly noticed that a nearby electricity pole had a platform atop of it and nested on the platform was a bald eagle chick (so much for seeing the 60-year-old nest at NASA her in the main St of Winter Park the eagles had landed and nested).

We entered through the rear door (being none the wiser) and we were surprised with the interior that greeted us. The reception is manned by volunteers who were so helpful. It was cuppa-tea-time so they guided us to the fastest and the finest coffee shops. We chose the finest and enjoyed the most decent expresso coffee and cake we had enjoyed so far. This is a wealthy area with clean footpaths well designed roads and buildings all in good condition. Interesting shops (including a second hand /antique shop we explored) but time was short and we had to return to the museum.

Inside the museum. Charles Hosmer Morse was a wealthy industrialist and philanthropist living between 1833 and 1921. He created the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. It houses the most comprehensive collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany found anywhere, a major collection of American art pottery, and fine collections of late-19th- and early-20th-century American paintings, graphics and the decorative arts.

The museum was founded by Jeannette Genius McKean in 1942 and dedicated to her grandfather, Chicago industrialist Charles Hosmer Morse. The museum’s first director was her husband, Hugh McKean.

In 1957, Hugh McKean learned from Tiffany’s daughter that Tiffany’s estate, Laurelton Hall, had burned to a ruin. McKean, who had been an art student at Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall estate in 1930, remembered Jeannette’s exact words at the scene of the devastation: “Let’s buy everything that is left and try to save it.”

Among these acquisitions were parts of Tiffany’s 1893 chapel for the World’s Columbian Exposition; award-winning leaded glass windows; and major architectural elements such as the poppy loggia, which was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Museum moved to  Winter Park, in 1978. The museum opened at its current location on Park Avenue in 1995, and now has more than 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2) of public and exhibition space.

The museum is broken into a number of galleries. The original museum pieces from the Morse Foundation and the added collection of Tiffany. Charles founded the jewellery company Tiffany ad Co which exists today but his son Louis did so many other things in the world of art design and interior design. Ultimately Louis inherited Tiffany and Co but it is all the other artistic endeavours which he undertook which this museum celebrates. Louis had created at his estate Laurelton at Long Island a foundation for artists. When Tiffany died about 6 months after his design companies went into bankruptcy, the assets of Laurelton and the foundation were broken up and sold but the house was engulfed in a fire. Jeanette Mc Kean who was related to Tiffany visited the ruins and together they started to gather together everything they could from the ruins (including furniture and parts of the building – Daffodil Terrace and the Chapel). Mc Kean added these to the Morse collection creating the museum of today. The remarkable thing is the glass Chapel and baptismal font was saved and reconstructed in the museum. The photos that follow each have a short explanation but as a museum of the everyday and Tiffany who was anything but average, the museum is unusual and very interesting.

We spent most of the day here finishing our trip to Daytona late in the afternoon. When we arrived at the resort, it was closed with a temporary fence surrounding it. We entered and suddenly Bobby appeared. He stated he was the representative of the organisation through which we had booked the accommodation and his job was to relocate us as they had just started a refurbishment of the resort following a hurricane. So with no concern we took his directions and drove further up to Ormond Beach and our accommodation for the next 3 nights and 2 days. On finding Coral Shores we sensed trouble ahead. This looked like a resort from 1960 Gold Coast not a slick modern 21st century resort. When we registered and obtained our key to our apartment, we found a single bedroom bungalow with no amenities. Some serious toing and froing followed and some 3 hours later we were informed that they had arranged two bungalows one with a kitchen and the other being the first bungalow shown to us. Very disappointing and ultimately we were promised a refund in respect of this part of our trip.

After all is said and done the accommodation was not too bad and we were graced by the squadron of pelicans flying overhead and across the ocean.

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Retired Australian Lawyer having worked representing the innocent and the not so innocent in Australia and some of the remote parts of the world and having travelled widely through Europe, Western Russia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Thailand Malaysia Solomon Islands northern China, Hong Kong and the UAE So now that I have the time I am writing about my travels present and past. Hope you enjoy exploring off the beaten track.