Guided Tours of Seasonally Decorated Period Rooms at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

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Contact: Karen Hollywood, Publicity and Programs Coordinator Macculloch Hall Historical Museum / khollywood@maccullochhall.org / www.maccullochhall.org / (973) 538-2404 ext 15


Guided Tours of Seasonally Decorated Period Rooms at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum


Macculloch Hall Historical Museum will be open for guided tours and visits to exhibits on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoons from 1pm – 4pm until December 20th.  It will reopen for tours beginning Wednesday  January 2nd through Thursday January 31st.  Enjoy docent-led tours through the period rooms to learn the history of the Macculloch family and W. Parsons Todd, the philanthropist who transformed this family home into a museum with a superb collection of fine English and American decorative arts. During tours of the gorgeous historic home visitors will view seasonal decorations as well as the museum's collection of holiday-themed original artwork by caricaturist Thomas Nast. Nast, a well-known political cartoonist who popularized the Democratic Donkey and the Republican Elephant, also contributed to America’s contemporary image of Santa Claus. Visitors will find more than thirty of Thomas Nast’s original Santa and Christmas images throughout the museum’s galleries and period rooms. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum has the largest collection of Nast originals in the nation.


Decorated for the holidays in traditional style by the Garden Club of Morristown, greenery and other live decorations adorn the rooms during December.  In the drawing room visitors will find a special Christmas tree. 2012 marks the 22nd year Morristown’s Assumption School fourth grade students have handcrafted period-style ornaments for the Macculloch tree under the direction of their art teacher, Barbara Silverstein. This year students worked with quality reproduction die-cut images or “scraps” mounted onto gold foil covered cardboard bells and silver paper circles, fringed for textural dimension.  Popular during the mid 1800’s through the first quarter of the 20th century, brightly colored die-cuts were produced and sold in sheets that were cut up and combined with a myriad of materials to create ornaments. 


Visitors during December and January will also be able to view the Christmas exhibit Home for the Holidays, which displays a wonderful collection of Christmas objects from the second half of the nineteenth century through the early twentieth century.  This year’s display features an animal theme, displayed in the form of antique candy containers, as well as a barge bottom Noah's ark complete with fourteen pairs of animals. The ark is accompanied by numerous other fanciful holiday toys sure to enchant guests of all ages, including antique German figural candy containers, early Christmas feather trees and ornaments. In addition there are rare and exceptional Santa Claus and Belsnickel figures, including a bisque-face Santa seated on a tree stump which was produced around 1910 by the Heubach Doll Company. The tree stump is paper maché and opens at the base for candy storage.


The Museum Christmas gift shop will also be open during touring hours in December and January, where visitors can find a variety of Thomas Nast Christmas items including ornaments, along with other traditional toys and unique stocking stuffers. Guided tours leave throughout touring hours, with the last leaving around 3pm. The galleries and gift shop are open until 4pm. Now is a great time to purchase a membership to the museum which offers unlimited visits to exhibits and docent-led tours during public hours, and discounted admission to special programs. Memberships are available for purchase during touring hours or via www.maccullochhall.org  For more information about programs and exhibits please visit our website or Facebook page, accessible through the website.


Macculloch Hall Historical Museum preserves the history of the Macculloch-Miller families, the Morris area community, and the legacy of its founder W. Parsons Todd through its historic site, collections, exhibits, and educational and cultural programs. It is located in the heart of Morristown’s National Historic District. The Museum is open for house and exhibit tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. The last tickets for admission are sold at 3 p.m.  Admission is $8 Adults; $6 Seniors; Children 6 – 12 years $4, Children 5 years and under and Museum members are free.  The Museum closes for the holiday break at 4pm on Thursday December 20th and reopens for tours at 1pm on Wednesday January 2nd 2013.  For information, call the Museum weekdays at (973) 538-2404, visit our website www.maccullochhall.org or find us on Facebook.  Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, 45 Macculloch Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is a nonprofit educational affiliate of the W. Parsons Todd Foundation. 


Image attached: Macculloch Hall Historical Museum_Tour Docent_Courtesy of Stan Freeny



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