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Morven’s Grand Homes & Gardens Speaker Series returns!

Jan. 26, 2023 / PRZen / PRINCETON, N.J. — Morven Museum & Garden is pleased to present the 2023 Grand Homes & Gardens Speaker Series: Trailblazers and Trendsetters, generously sponsored by Hiltons Princeton. Join us as we explore the people and spaces, past and present, who cultivated new opportunities and inspired breakthrough trends for future generations of landscape architects, designers, entrepreneurs, and horticulturalists.

To kick things off on Weds, Feb 22 at 6:30 p.m., explore Manitoga: The Russel Wright House with Vivian Linares, Manitoga’s Director of Collections, Interpretation, and Preservation. Manitoga, Russel and Mary Wright’s 1960s home in Garrison, NY, stands alone as an iconic and idiosyncratic example of eco-sensitive modernist architecture. This talk, sponsored by David Schure & Grant Wagner of Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty, will explore Russel and Mary Wright’s contributions to American design and Manitoga’s representation of their trendsetting aesthetic.

On Weds, Mar 1 at 6:30 p.m., travel to Madam C. J. Walker’s Dream of Dreams: Villa Lewaro with author and historian A’Lelia Bundles. Often recognized as America’s first self-made female millionaire, this talk will address how Madam C.J. Walker’s entrepreneurship and personal style translated to the unique architecture and grounds of her early-Twentieth century home, while digging deeper into Walker’s fascinating life and work. The presentation will include a book signing with Bundles, our speaker and Walker’s great grand-daughter. Copies of Bundles’ book On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, the inspiration for Self Made, a Netflix series starring Octavia Spencer, will be available for purchase for the signing.

Next, on Weds, Mar 8 at 6:30 p.m., journey to Beauport: Expect the Unexpected with Kristen Weiss, Historic New England’s Site Manager, to explore the unique and ornate designs in the summer home of one of America’s first professional interior designers, Henry Davis Sleeper. Sleeper’s unique and ornate design concepts were showcased throughout his summer home, Beauport, in Gloucester, MA where he hosted a regular cohort of artists and intellectuals, navigating early twentieth century society as a gay man. This talk will examine Sleeper’s groundbreaking interior designs, as well as Beauport’s architecture and arts and crafts landscape design. Please note that our speaker will present this program virtually. The talk will be streamed live for an in-person viewing party and virtual audience alike.

Lastly, on Weds, Mar 15 at 6:30 p.m., discover Bartram’s Garden with Aseel Rasheed, Bartram’s Garden’s Public Programs Director, and lecture sponsor Keller Williams Princeton Realty. As America’s oldest surviving botanic garden, established by the father of American botany John Bartram, this 14-acre garden in Philadelphia has blazed many trails. Today the site provides communal space and sustainable farming opportunities for its surrounding neighborhoods. This talk will explore the history of the Bartram family, the home, and the gardens while also taking the story up to the present day.

Hybrid in-person and virtual tickets are available for individual programs or as series tickets including all four weeks of programming. In-person General Admission tickets are $90 for the series, or $30 for each individual program. Virtual General Admission tickets are $70 for the series, or $20 for each individual program. Morven Member tickets are $60 for the in-person series, or $20 for each individual program. Virtual Member tickets are $30 for the series, or $10 for each individual program. The in-person experience includes light refreshments featuring a cocktail and mocktail inspired by each week’s featured site. Online participants will receive recipes to make the featured drinks at home.

For all program related questions, please contact Greer Luce, Curator of Education and Public Programs at or 609.924.8144 ext 106.

Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton St, Princeton, NJ is open Weds through Sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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