Jeannette Genius McKean: Quiet Crusader for Art

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80 pages, 6 x 9 in., softcover.
By Charles A. Twardy, Jr.
Morse Museum of American Art, 1994.

This biography illustrates the life of a woman who was beloved by the Winter Park community and tireless in her efforts to support the arts. Jeannette Genius McKean (1909–89) was born and raised in Chicago and later made Winter Park her home as had her grandfather, Chicago industrialist Charles Hosmer Morse (1833–1921). She founded the Morse in 1942, naming it for him, and she and her husband Hugh F. McKean (1908–95) built a collection over a 50-year period that would become the world's most comprehensive collection of works by Louis C. Tiffany. Jeannette, however, was not only a collector of art but a remarkable artist in her own right. "She was among the last of a breed," writes author Twardy, "born to families whose wealth was formed in the Industrial Revolution of the last century, devoted to using that wealth in the service of art and design."