Morgan Library and Museum

225 Madison Ave

The Morgan Library, a complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of America's greatest collectors and cultural benefactors. As early as 1890 Morgan had begun to assemble a collec... more

The Morgan Library, a complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of America's greatest collectors and cultural benefactors. As early as 1890 Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts; early printed books; and old master drawings and prints. Mr. Morgan's library, as it was known in his lifetime, was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the Library was intended as something more than a repository of rare materials. Majestic in appearance yet intimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings. The result was an Italian Renaissance–style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America's Age of Elegance. Called "one of the seven wonders of the Edwardian World" and completed three years before McKim's death, it is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In 1924, eleven years after Pierpont Morgan's death, his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867–1943), known as Jack, realized that the Library... more

The Morgan Library, a complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of America's greatest collectors and cultural benefactors. As early as 1890 Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts; early printed books; and old master drawings and prints.

Mr. Morgan's library, as it was known in his lifetime, was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the Library was intended as something more than a repository of rare materials. Majestic in appearance yet intimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings. The result was an Italian Renaissance–style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America's Age of Elegance. Called "one of the seven wonders of the Edwardian World" and completed three years before McKim's death, it is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In 1924, eleven years after Pierpont Morgan's death, his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867–1943), known as Jack, realized that the Library had become too important to remain in private hands. In creating an institution dedicated to serving scholars and the public alike, and in what constituted one of the most momentous cultural gifts in U.S. history, he fulfilled his father's dream of making the library and its treasures available to the public.

Over the years—through purchases and generous gifts—the Library's holdings of rare materials have continued to grow, and important music manuscripts, early children's books, Americana, and materials from the twentieth century have been acquired. Without losing its decidedly domestic feeling, the Library has also considerably expanded its physical space. The Annex was built on the site of Pierpont Morgan's brownstone. Completed in 1928, the addition consisted of a large entrance foyer, a reading room for scholars, and an exhibition hall. The new structure was joined to the original library by means of a connecting gallery called the Cloister (recently renamed the Dr. Rudolf J. and Lore Heinemann Gallery). A dramatic addition occurred in 1987 when the Library doubled its size with the acquisition of Jack Morgan's nearby town house. A garden court was built to connect the house with the Annex and original library. This expansion, completed in 1991, made way for both more exhibitions and a wider array of lectures, concerts, and other educational programs.

Recently the largest expansion in the Morgan's history, added 75,000 square feet to the campus. Completed in April 2006 and designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, the project increased exhibition space by more than fifty percent and added important visitor amenities, including a 280-seat performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new café and a new restaurant, a shop, a new reading room, and collections storage. Piano's design integrates the Morgan's three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel-and-glass pavilions. A soaring central court connects the buildings and serves as a gathering place for visitors in the spirit of an Italian piazza.

Fulfilling the vision of its founders, the Morgan Library has become and continues to be an internationally recognized center for research as well as a vital museum serving a diverse public.


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Murray Hill Description

Morgan Library and Museum is located in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan. Murray Hill, along with Turtle Bay and Kips Bay, lies in the vast stretch of Manhattan's East Side, between the rabble and riot of Alphabet City and the East Village and the luxuriant old money of the Upper East Side. Sedate and low-key, the neighborhood is largely home to modern residences and, middling rents, and a mash-up of long-time locals and the recently graduated, MBA set, who gladly trade in hipness points for being able to say they can afford to live in Manhattan. That is, until the Second Avenue subway opens up and Murray Hill joins the rest of the island's rent brackets.

What is essentially Midtown East East stretches from Fifth Avenue to the East River (some say Third Avenue, but what do they know), and from 40th Street to 34th Street. It is bounded by Turtle Bay to the north, Kips Bay to the south, and Midtown to the west. With Grand Central Station at its northwestern corner and the Queens Midtown Tunnel on the east, pedestrian and traffic congestion in the neighborhood is high, especially when the United Nations in session, causing a never-ending headache for residents who cherish the ever-shrinking calm of its quieter streets.

Two of New York City's most iconic pieces of architecture stand at the corner of the neighborhood— Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building, both of which are fine examples of Beaux Arts and Art Deco, respectively. Grand Central, while not a part of the storied and gorgeous trail of Pennsylvania Railroad stations—that would be Penn Station's sole claim in NYC—is still one of the most impressive railroad terminuses in America, and rivals even some of the best stations in the world. Its gleaming brass clock, the exquisite staircases, and the unique celestial ceiling, with its light bluish-green background filled with well-known constellations dotted by tiny lights. Restored in recent years, the cavernous main hall is bathed in natural light during the day, and pulsates with activity day and night, thanks not least to its three busy restaurants: Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, Metrazur, and the famous Grand Central Oyster Bar. The gorgeous Chrysler Building gleams nearby, and while the building isn't open to tourists, its staggeringly beautiful Art Deco lobby, with murals celebrating transportation themes, is definitely one of New York’s finest.

Meanwhile, the Morgan Library & Museum presents diverse cultural offerings and is home to a dazzling collection of rare books, all housed in an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo that reflects the nature and stature of its contents. Murray Hill is also home to various educational and cultural institutions such as the CUNY Graduate Center, Stern College for Women and the Oxford University Press. Other notable establishments include the Mexican Cultural Institute and the Scandinavia House, which is dedicated to the education and preservation of Nordic culture.

There are also plenty of dining options on the Hill. If you're craving Mexican, try Baby Bo's Cantina on 2nd Avenue, or perhaps a pricier Italian meal at venerable neighborhood institution Rossini's, or go full-on Mediterranean at Salute. Murray Hill also counts the original The Palm among its favorite eateries, a casual elegant restaurant that has remained in its place since 1926, long before their brand branched out into other parts of Manhattan and, eventually, from coast-to-coast. The walls are adorned with caricatures of nationally and locally famous figures, and generations have been coming back to taste the incredible hash browns or to order a three-pound jumbo lobster, not to mention the steaks that made the Palm famous in the first place!

Murray Hill is a great neighborhood to stay in while you're visiting New York—it's close to many major attractions, but still out of the way enough that it makes for an easy and quick escape from the hectic pace of Midtown—and the hotel offerings in the area mirror that fact. The all-suite Affinia Dumont is among the more spacious and elegant options, while the Park South Hotel is a more moderately priced option that's still rife with style.

New at the Morgan: Acquisitions Since 2004

Presenting over one hundred works that underscore the great scope of the Morgan's collecting interests, the exhibition includes old master and modern drawings, literary and musical manuscripts, illuminated texts, and rare printed books and bindings. The selections were drawn from more than 1,200 wor... [ + ]ks acquired since 2004 and include seminal figures from various genres.

The earliest work on view is a treatise in praise of poetry, dating to ca. 1300; the most recent, a drawing by Alexander Ross, dates to 2007. Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts are represented by, among other objects, the jewel-like Prayer Book of Queen Claude de France and the Book of Hours of the scribe Guillaume Lambert. Drawings include sheets by Rembrandt, Degas, Sargent, and Matisse. The show also features manuscripts and letters by Robert Frost, Vincent van Gogh, Henry James, Dylan Thomas, and Oscar Wilde. A large group of first edition music scores that came to the Morgan as part of the James Fuld Collection are also on view, notably a sketch by Beethoven for his Seventh Symphony and a set of proofs of Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

A highlight of the exhibition is the prominence of works by contemporary artists, a recent area of interest for the Morgan. In addition to the work by Alexander Ross, on view are drawings by Helen Frankenthaler, Red Grooms, Robert Morris, and Bruce Nauman, among others. Modern photography is also represented with works by Irving Penn and Diane Arbus.

10/21/2019 10:00 AM
Mon, October 21
10:00AM
$
$20 - Adults
$13 - Children (under 16)
$13 - Seniors (65 and over), Students (with current ID)

Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)

Admission is free to all Friday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Info

225 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-0008
Website

Editorial Rating

Admission And Tickets

$20 - Adults
$13 - Children (under 16)
$13 - Seniors (65 and over), Students (with current ID)

Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)

Admission is free to all Friday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

This Week's Hours

Tue-Thu: 10:30am-5:00pm
Fri: 10:30am-9:00pm
Sat: 10:00am-6:00pm
Sun: 11:00am-6:00pm

Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day

Nearby Subway

  • to 33rd St
  • to 34th St
  • to Grand Central

Featured On

Upcoming Events

New at the Morgan: Acquisitions Since 2004

Presenting over one hundred works that underscore the great scope of the Morgan's collecting interests, the exhibition includes old master and modern drawings, literary and musical manuscripts, illuminated texts, and rare printed books and bindings. The selections were drawn from more than 1,200 wor... [ + ]ks acquired since 2004 and include seminal figures from various genres.

The earliest work on view is a treatise in praise of poetry, dating to ca. 1300; the most recent, a drawing by Alexander Ross, dates to 2007. Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts are represented by, among other objects, the jewel-like Prayer Book of Queen Claude de France and the Book of Hours of the scribe Guillaume Lambert. Drawings include sheets by Rembrandt, Degas, Sargent, and Matisse. The show also features manuscripts and letters by Robert Frost, Vincent van Gogh, Henry James, Dylan Thomas, and Oscar Wilde. A large group of first edition music scores that came to the Morgan as part of the James Fuld Collection are also on view, notably a sketch by Beethoven for his Seventh Symphony and a set of proofs of Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

A highlight of the exhibition is the prominence of works by contemporary artists, a recent area of interest for the Morgan. In addition to the work by Alexander Ross, on view are drawings by Helen Frankenthaler, Red Grooms, Robert Morris, and Bruce Nauman, among others. Modern photography is also represented with works by Irving Penn and Diane Arbus.

10/21/2019 10:00 AM
Mon, October 21
10:00AM
$
$20 - Adults
$13 - Children (under 16)
$13 - Seniors (65 and over), Students (with current ID)

Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)

Admission is free to all Friday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

New at the Morgan: Acquisitions Since 2004

Presenting over one hundred works that underscore the great scope of the Morgan's collecting interests, the exhibition includes old master and modern drawings, literary and musical manuscripts, illuminated texts, and rare printed books and bindings. The selections were drawn from more than 1,200 wor... [ + ]ks acquired since 2004 and include seminal figures from various genres.

The earliest work on view is a treatise in praise of poetry, dating to ca. 1300; the most recent, a drawing by Alexander Ross, dates to 2007. Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts are represented by, among other objects, the jewel-like Prayer Book of Queen Claude de France and the Book of Hours of the scribe Guillaume Lambert. Drawings include sheets by Rembrandt, Degas, Sargent, and Matisse. The show also features manuscripts and letters by Robert Frost, Vincent van Gogh, Henry James, Dylan Thomas, and Oscar Wilde. A large group of first edition music scores that came to the Morgan as part of the James Fuld Collection are also on view, notably a sketch by Beethoven for his Seventh Symphony and a set of proofs of Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

A highlight of the exhibition is the prominence of works by contemporary artists, a recent area of interest for the Morgan. In addition to the work by Alexander Ross, on view are drawings by Helen Frankenthaler, Red Grooms, Robert Morris, and Bruce Nauman, among others. Modern photography is also represented with works by Irving Penn and Diane Arbus.

10/22/2019 10:00 AM
Tue, October 22
10:00AM
$
$20 - Adults
$13 - Children (under 16)
$13 - Seniors (65 and over), Students (with current ID)

Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)

Admission is free to all Friday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Drawings & Prints Collections - Morgan Library & Museum

Ranging from preparatory studies and sketches to finished works of art, the nearly twelve thousand drawings in The Morgan Library & Museum's collection span the fourteenth through twenty-first centuries. The primary focus is European drawings executed before 1825, but the Morgan's holdings include a... [ + ] growing number of nineteenth- and twentieth-century works on paper as well as drawings by American artists. In addition to a print collection of British political satires and portraits, about two hundred paintings, sculptures, medieval reliquaries, and ceramics, the Morgan has the largest and most representative collection of Rembrandt etchings in the United States

In 1909 Pierpont Morgan established the core of the Morgan's holdings when he purchased a collection of about fifteen hundred old master drawings from the English artist-collector Charles Fairfax Murray. Its strengths—notably sixteenth- and eighteenth-century Italian drawings and Netherlandish drawings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—remain unsurpassed in the United States. Since the founding of the Morgan as a public institution, the most important factor in the growth of the collection has been the acquisition of individual works and entire collections through gifts and bequests.

Italian drawings comprise nearly three thousand individual sheets as well as drawings in albums and sketchbooks, including works by Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. French drawings are a major strength, with drawings by Claude, Fragonard, and Watteau. Works by Ingres, Delacroix, Degas, Cézanne, and Matisse have strengthened the Morgan's holdings in works by nineteenth- and twentieth-century draftsmen. British drawings comprise more than one thousand individual sheets as well as albums and sketchbooks. Hogarth, Gainsborough, Blake, Turner, Constable, and Burne-Jones are only a few of the distinguished draftsmen represented in the collection. The Morgan's holdings include more than seven hundred works by Netherlandish, Dutch, and Flemish artists, such as Rembrandt, Goltzius, Rubens, and van Dyck. German drawings in the collection include masterpieces by Dürer and Friedrich. American artists represented include Audubon and Benjamin and Raphael Lamar West.

10/22/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, October 22
10:30AM
$
$20 - Adults
$13 - Children (under 16)
$13 - Seniors (65 and over), Students (with current ID)

Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)

Admission is free to all Friday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts - Morgan Library & Museum

When Pierpont Morgan acquired his first medieval manuscripts at the end of the nineteenth century, he laid the foundation for a collection whose quality would rank among the greatest in the world. Since Morgan's death in 1913, the collection has more than doubled. Spanning some ten centuries of West... [ + ]ern illumination, it includes more than eleven hundred manuscripts as well as papyri. To this should be added the Glazier, Heineman, Bühler, Stillman, and Wightman manuscripts, which include more than two hundred more items. Although the collection was formed to illustrate the history of manuscript illumination and includes significant masterpieces from the ninth to sixteenth centuries, there are also some important textual manuscripts.

The Morgan's collection is made up primarily of Western manuscripts, with French being the largest single national group, followed by Italian, English, German, Flemish, Dutch, and Spanish. There are also examples of Armenian, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopian, Arabic, Persian, and Indian manuscripts. More than fifty Coptic manuscripts from Hamouli, Egypt, nearly all of which were found in their original bindings, form the oldest and most important group of Sahidic manuscripts from a single provenance, the Monastery of St. Michael at Sôpehes.

The majority of these books are of a religious nature, but the collection also includes important classical works, scientific manuscripts dealing with astronomy and medicine, and practical works on agriculture, hunting, and warfare. Notable are the ninth-century bejeweled Lindau Gospels, the tenth-century Beatus, the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, and the celebrated Hours of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, the best-known Italian Renaissance manuscript.

10/22/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, October 22
10:30AM
$
$20 - Adults
$13 - Children (under 16)
$13 - Seniors (65 and over), Students (with current ID)

Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)

Admission is free to all Friday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
View All Upcoming Events

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