(Morristown, NJ)— The Morris Museum is proud to announce that it will host the first ever AutomataCon, a convention celebrating automatons and related kinetic art. The event will be held at the Morris Museum, home of the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata, on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, 2016.

"Crescendo," by Tom Haney, 2012. Photo credit: Gregory Campbell
“Crescendo,” by Tom Haney, 2012. Photo credit: Gregory Campbell

AutomataCon will convene premier artists, collectors, historians, and authors in the automaton community from around the world to share ideas, build relationships, and grow interest in automata. The idea for the convention stemmed from the fellowship shown on the Automata / Automaton Group and Mechanical Adventures Group on Facebook. The two-day event will feature panel discussions, Museum tours, live demonstrations, and social gatherings.

“Never has there been an automaton convention such as this,” said Jeremie Ryder, Conservator of the Guinness Collection. “It is clearly attracting the widest possible array of artists, collectors, historians and pure enthusiasts of this historic, decorative and kinetic art form. There will be something for everyone, all ages, to enjoy, be amazed and experience during this weekend event.”

AutomataCon is being organized by Brett King, AutomataCon Founder and Convention Chair, with Jeremie Ryder, Conservator of the Guinness Collection at the Morris Museum and Michele Marinelli, Curator of the Guinness Collection at the Morris Museum.

Further program and ticket information is available on the convention’s website,


Saturday and Sunday Pass: $30

Includes access to all AutomataCon programming on these days, as well as admission to the Museum. Tickets are limited, and we recommend that they be purchased in advance.

Saturday General Museum Admission: $10
Includes access to select programming tailored to a general audience, as well as admission to the Museum.


Saturday, March 19, 11:00AM – 5:00PM

Programming will include panels on the history of automata, the secrets of automata creation, and the exhibition of automata.

Premier showing of historic film, “Le Monde des Automates”
Saturday, March 19, 11:00AM

This 1928 Swiss film documents rare and unique automata and mechanical music.

Sunday, March 20, 11:00AM – 2:00PM

Sunday programming will include additional, less formal panels and programming. Demonstrations of the Guinness Collection will be given at 2:00PM.


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About the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection

In 2003, the Morris Museum was awarded the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of 750 historic mechanical musical instruments and automata (mechanical figures) and more than 5,000 programmed media, ranging from player piano rolls to pinned cylinders. As one of the most significant collections of its kind in the world, highlights of the collection are displayed in a spectacular 4,300 square foot permanent exhibition Musical Machines & Living Dolls: Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata from the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection. This interactive exhibition features more than 150 pieces from this extraordinary collection and takes visitors on a journey through the history of on-demand musical entertainment. Viewable storage provides visitors with broader access to the balance of the collection.

About the Morris Museum

Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution which serves the public through high caliber exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities.  The Museum also offers educational programs, family events, and is home to the Bickford Theatre and its wide range of performing arts offerings. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards. The first museum in New Jersey to be accredited, the Morris Museum was re-accredited in 2013 by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Location & Hours

The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00pm. In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5:00 to 8:00pm on the second and third Thursday of the month. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for Museum members.  For more information, call (973) 971-3700, or visit


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