On Thursday, Dec. 7, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and the City of Winter Park present the 39th Annual Christmas in the Park in downtown Winter Park.
The free outdoor event begins at 6:15 p.m. when the lights are turned up on nine century-old Tiffany leaded-glass windows and Central Park is transformed into a luminous concert hall for the esteemed 160-voice Bach Festival Society Choir. The choral performance concludes about 8 p.m., and the windows remain lighted for viewing until 8:30 p.m.
Hugh and Jeannette McKean, who together built the Morse Museum’s collection, began Christmas in the Park in 1979 to share a part of their rare Tiffany collection with the public in an informal setting. The Morse and the City of Winter Park began cosponsoring the event in 2014.
For the 39th year of the event, the Morse will again install its windows and present the Bach Festival Society Choir, Youth Choir, and Brass Ensemble in concert. The city will oversee arrangements for park use, security, crowd management, traffic control, and road closures.
Eight of the windows featured at Christmas in the Park are memorials with religious themes designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s firm for installation in the chapel at the Association for the Relief of Respectable, Aged, Indigent Females (1814–1974) in New York City. Tiffany Studios’ Christmas Eve window, c. 1902, will also be on view at the event and in the Morse Museum following Christmas in the Park. The window—in which a figure resembling Father Christmas holds the Christ child—was designed by Thomas Nast Jr., son of the famous political cartoonist, for his sister’s home in New Rochelle, New York.
The Morse Museum, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including the chapel interior he designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and art and architectural elements from his Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall. The Morse is owned and operated by the Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation and receives additional support from the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation. It receives no public funds. For more information, please visit www.morsemuseum.org. For information regarding other events in the City of Winter Park, please visit the city’s official website at www.cityofwinterpark.org.