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Morven stands on five acres in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey, and has played a role in the state's and nation's history for more than 200 years.
After Morven was built for Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, four generations of Stocktons resided there through the early 20th century before the property was leased to Robert Wood Johnson, chairman of Johnson & Johnson. He was followed by five New Jersey governors when Morven served as the state's first governor's mansion. Morven has hosted presidents from George Washington to John F. Kennedy and other notable people, including foreign leader Fidel Castro, movie star Grace Kelly, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and star athlete Althea Gibson. Morven opened as a museum and garden in 2004. The mansion building that serves as the museum is the largest structure on the property, but other notable landmarks include the 1930s pool house, 19th-century carriage house, and colonial revival garden. Morven depicts over 225 years of history and includes views of a home and property that survived wars, fires, and changing tastes.
Authors Elizabeth Allan and Jesse Gordon Simons, who make up the curatorial department at Morven Museum & Garden, have produced 20 museum exhibitions together. Here, they draw on Morven's archives and local New Jersey collections to celebrate the life of this national historic landmark.