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.

01/15/2019 10:00 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Literary & Historical Manuscripts - Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan's collection of literary and historical manuscripts includes complete manuscripts and working drafts of poetry and prose as well as correspondence, journals, and other documents of important British, European, and American authors, artists, scientists, and historical and political figures... [ + ] from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries. The handwritten documents in the collection preserve the process of human thought and creativity—from mind to pen to paper—with an immediacy and power lacking in texts produced electronically.

The general pattern of the collection was established by Pierpont Morgan, who began to acquire literary and historical manuscripts on a large scale during the 1890s. He sought not to achieve comprehensiveness in any particular field but rather to assemble important documents related to events of historical significance, lives of notable individuals, and the creation of great literary works. By his death in 1913, he had gathered a number of exceptional documents handwritten or signed by influential figures in Western culture, including Elizabeth I, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Napoléon, Sir Isaac Newton, and Voltaire. Morgan had a great interest in major British writers; a centerpiece of his collection was—and still is—the sole surviving manuscript of John Milton's Paradise Lost, transcribed and corrected under the direction of the blind poet. Other collection highlights are Charles Dickens's manuscript of A Christmas Carol, Henry David Thoreau's journals, Thomas Jefferson's letters to his daughter Martha, and manuscripts and letters of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Lord Byron, Wilkie Collins, Albert Einstein, John Keats, Abraham Lincoln, and John Steinbeck.

The Morgan's collection of literary and historical manuscripts has been enriched by many gifts and acquisitions, and twentieth-century holdings have increased significantly. The collection, particularly strong in artists' letters, was greatly enhanced by the Pierre Matisse Gallery Archives, the gift of the Pierre Matisse Foundation in 1997. These archives include more than fifteen hundred letters as well as records of the gallery installations of Balthus, Chagall, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Miró, and other twentieth-century artists. The Carter Burden Collection of American Literature includes important manuscripts and correspondence of John Cheever, Ezra Pound, and Tennessee Williams. The 1999 acquisition of The Paris Review Archive added correspondence, interviews, typescripts, and revised proofs of several hundred post-World War II writers, including Donald Hall, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, George Plimpton, Philip Roth, and Anne Sexton. The Paris Review Archive also includes audio recordings of interviews with major twentieth-century authors.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Music Manuscripts & Printed Music - Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum houses one of the finest collections of music manuscripts in the country. In addition to a large collection of musicians' letters and first editions of scores and librettos, it has the world's largest collection of Mahler manuscripts and substantial holdings of Brahms, Ch... [ + ]opin, Debussy, Mozart, Schubert, and Richard Strauss. The collection spans six centuries and many countries. The Morgan's holdings of material relating to the lives and works of the dramatist William S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur S. Sullivan form the most extensive archive of its kind in the world.

Although Pierpont Morgan is not on record as evincing any notable interest in music, he did make two important purchases: the two earliest dated letters of the thirteen-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the manuscript of Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Sonata no. 10, op. 96, in G Major.

The Morgan's music collection is the result of the generosity of several donors and lenders. In 1962 the Dannie and Hettie Heineman Collection, a small but exceedingly well-chosen selection of music manuscripts, was placed on deposit and then formally given to the Morgan in 1977. In 1968 the institution became a major repository of music manuscripts with the donation of Mary Flagler Cary's extraordinary collection of manuscripts, letters, and printed scores. In 1972 Robert Owen Lehman put on deposit his collection of manuscript scores, the greatest private collection of its kind. In 2008 the Morgan acquired the James Fuld Collection, by all accounts the finest private collection of printed music in the world.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Ancient Near Eastern Seals & Tablets - Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan's seals collection is one of the most distinguished in the United States and among the best known in the world. Generally only an inch in height, engraved seals are among the smallest objects ever produced by sculptors. They were carved in great detail with simple tools on semiprecious st... [ + ]ones. These engraved objects provide a continuous artistic and chronological sequence of more than three thousand years. The seals collection covers all the significant styles of Mesopotamian engraving from the end of the fifth millennium B.C. to the fourth century B.C. as well as most of the styles of other countries of the ancient Near East. Areas of particular strength include seals of the second millennium B.C. made outside southern Mesopotamia (Cappadocia, Syria, and Mitannia) as well as Old Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian seals. The Middle Assyrian seals are among the finest in any collection.

Pierpont Morgan collected nearly three thousand cuneiform tablets, the bulk of which are now in the Yale Babylonian Collection, which he founded. The Morgan's collection also includes cuneiform tablets and a few outstanding art objects from the ancient Near East.

Between 1885 and 1908, the American collector William Hayes Ward assembled, probably on Pierpont Morgan's behalf, a collection of 1,157 seals. This became the core of the Morgan's holdings. Two additional major gifts—the collection of Robert F. Kelley, given by his sister Caroline M. Burns in 1977, and that of Jonathan P. Rosen, given in 1986—have enhanced the Morgan's holdings in this area.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Archives - Morgan Library & Museum

The Archives of The Morgan Library & Museum houses personal papers of Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) and his immediate family, early records of the Morgan financial firms, and the records of the Morgan. Comprising correspondence, photographs and albums, documents, scrapbooks, and printed materials, the... [ + ] Archives is an important scholarly resource for the history of the Gilded Age, American economic development, and art collecting and connoisseurship.

A heavily used scholarly resource in the Archives is Morgan Collections Correspondence, which contains nearly eight thousand letters and invoices that document in great detail purchases of works of art, furniture, decorative items, and books and manuscripts made by Morgan from 1887 until his death in 1913. These papers provide essential provenance documentation for tens of thousands of works acquired by Morgan.

Family materials include substantial collections of papers of Pierpont Morgan, his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr., and his daughters Louisa Satterlee and Anne Morgan. The papers of the Rev. John Pierpont, maternal grandfather of Pierpont Morgan, include important resources for the study of nineteenth-century Unitarianism and reform movements, such as temperance, spiritualism, and abolitionism.

Although the Morgan does not hold the complete records of the Morgan financial firms, the Archives does include an important series of record books that document the syndicates formed by Morgan and his firms from 1882 to 1933, covering such key economic developments as the late-nineteenth-century reorganization of the American railroad industry and the 1902 creation of U.S. Steel, at the time the largest corporation ever formed.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Paintings & Art Objects - Morgan Library & Museum

The paintings and art objects that remain in The Morgan Library & Museum were, with a few exceptions, acquired by its founder Pierpont Morgan. The collection represents the merest fraction of his original holdings, most of which were sold or given away following his death in 1913. The largest group,... [ + ] chiefly consisting of several thousand ancient and medieval objects, was given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1917. The Wadsworth Atheneum in Morgan's native city, Hartford, was another important beneficiary. The pieces that have remained in the Morgan's collection however, were many of Pierpont Morgan's favorite objects.

The value of this collection lies not only in the significance and beauty of the works but in the degree to which they represent the art Morgan acquired during the last twenty years of his life. The chronological span is impressive, ranging from early Mesopotamian and Egyptian through Greco-Roman culture, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and beyond. Art of the ancient world is represented by Near Eastern figurines, Egyptian statuettes, and a Roman bronze statue of Eros. Morgan had an extensive collection of Qing porcelain. A Chinese bronze vessel and a fine oxblood vase remain at the Morgan.

The core of the collection, a small but precious hoard of medieval pieces, reflects Morgan's immense interest in the art of this period, evident in the Morgan's great collection of illuminated manuscripts. Therefore, it is only appropriate that the Stavelot Triptych, the Malmesbury Ciborium, the Basin reliquary, and Lichtenthal Casket remained at the Library. Also represented are masterpieces in Renaissance and baroque art. Although Morgan collected some very fine old master paintings by Hans Memling and Perugino, he seems to have focused on the plastic arts. Examples include miniatures on ivory, Lucas Cranach's roundel portraits of Martin Luther and his wife, and a bas-relief of the Virgin and Child by the fifteenth-century Florentine sculptor Antonio Rossellino.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Mr. Morgan's Library and Study

In 1902, owning more treasures than his Madison Avenue home could hold, Pierpont Morgan commissioned Charles Follen McKim (1847–1909) to build a library for them. McKim was regarded as the dean of American architecture; his style infused classical discipline with measured grandeur and opulence, and ... [ + ]he proposed to build Morgan an Italianate marble library that would pay architectural tribute to the High Renaissance. In 2006, a century after its completion, the McKim building has remained little changed since Morgan's day. Both the exterior and interior of the original building are designated New York City Landmarks; the secretary of the interior has designated the library a national historic landmark.

Rotunda
The interior of the McKim building consists of three rooms radiating off the east, north, and west sides of the Rotunda, a vaulted entrance foyer. The restrained simplicity of the building's façade yields to the splendor of color and texture in the Rotunda, supplied by variegated marble surfaces and columns, mosaic panels, and columns of lapis lazuli. The marble floor, with its central porphyry disc, owes its design to that of the Villa Pia in the Vatican gardens. The decorative programs for the apse, ceiling, and lunettes of the Rotunda were designed and executed by Harry Siddons Mowbray.

Mr. Morgan's Study
The Study is the most sumptuous and yet personal of the rooms and the one that best reflects the personal tastes of its original occupant. It was here that Morgan met with art dealers, scholars, business colleagues, and friends. With few exceptions, all the paintings, sculpture, and decorative objects in the Study where here in Pierpont Morgan's day. The paintings are primarily by Italian and Northern Renaissance masters; the objects d'art range in date from the third millennium B.C. to the nineteenth century, and give some indication of the original scope and diversity of Morgan's once vast holdings.

Mr. Morgan's Library
The Library is by far the largest and grandest of the rooms in the McKim building. This room, with its triple tiers of bookcases fashioned of bronze and inlaid Circassian walnut, originally housed most of Pierpont Morgan's books. Above the fireplace is a sixteenth-century Brussels tapestry. Harry Siddons Mowbray's ceiling paintings feature portraits of great men of the past alternating with female muses and signs of the zodiac.

Librarian's Office
Now open to the public for the first time, the Librarian's Office is located at the north end of the Rotunda. This is the smallest of the McKim rooms and was the office of Belle da Costa Greene, Morgan's personal librarian, a leading figure in the international art world, and the first director of the Morgan. In addition to a number of original furnishings, the Librarian's Office contains, among other objects, a bronze candelabrum with figures of Juno, Minerva, and Venus by Antoine-Louis Barye, and a bronze sculpture of John Ruskin by Gutzon Borglum. The bronze bust over the mantle, formerly thought to be of Petrarch, has recently been identified as Boccacio, and was made after a marble bust by Giovanni Francesco Rustici. The ceiling paintings are by James Wall Finn and his studio.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

The Morgan–Renzo Piano Building Workshop Project with a Brief History

The Morgan expansion project is the subject of a special exhibition that begins with a historical survey of the site from the 1850s through today. The expansion project is represented by drawings, models, and photographs.

The exhibition is organized by The Morgan Library & Museum and the Renzo Pi... [ + ]ano Building Workshop and features materials from the conceptual design phase to the finished scheme.

The Renzo Piano Building Workshop's project for the Morgan follows an exceptional architectural legacy. The original library, designed by Charles McKim and opened for Pierpont Morgan's personal use a hundred years ago, is an American Renaissance icon. Of the numerous structures that once stood on the site now occupied by the Morgan, three remain: the Morgan house, the 1928 Annex, and McKim's masterpiece. Renzo Piano reckoned with these three landmarks as he brought practical and pleasing coherence to the complex. This installation is in three parts. The development of the Morgan's current property is traced from its beginning in the 1850s. It is not a static building history. Structures were put up, added to, altered, demolished—whatever their owners deemed necessary or desirable. The second part examines how Renzo Piano realized the Morgan's institutional goals and rationalized and developed the complex that he first encountered in 2000. The final section examines aspects of design development, and images of finished work link architectural drawings to completed construction.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Masterworks from the Morgan Near Eastern Seals

Pierpont Morgan took great interest in ancient Near Eastern seals, as is evident from his collection, dating 3500–330 B.C. This exhibition displays a number of the best examples of these objects, which are among the earliest known pictorial carvings used to communicate ideas. Created for about three... [ + ] thousand years in the region the ancient Greeks called Mesopotamia, or "the land between two rivers," the function of seals was both practical, as a means of identification, and amuletic, intended to protect or benefit the owner in some way. They are among the smallest pictorial objects ever produced—often just one inch in size—intricately detailed by sculptors who carved them with simple tools in semiprecious stones.

This is the first time that the Morgan's collection of seals will be the focus of a theme-based exhibition—examining the development of the iconography of power as represented in the cylinder seals from their beginnings in the late fourth millennium B.C. with the emerging temple states through to the great empires of the first millennium B.C. The exhibition will end with the absorption of Mesopotamia into the Persian Empire, along with its ancient iconography, which was subsequently used by the Achaemenid kings until the arrival of Alexander the Great.

In addition to the cylinder seals, a larger-scale statue from the ancient Near East is on view to demonstrate the close relationship between seals and other major artworks. Highlights of the works on view include Nude Bearded Hero Wrestling with Water Buffalo; Bull-Man Fighting Lion (ca. 2334–2154 B.C.), an Akkadian period seal depicting two heraldic pairs and emphasizing the concepts of force and power, and A Winged Hero Pursuing Two Ostriches (ca. 12th–11th century B.C.), one of the most striking of the Morgan's Middle Assyrian seals.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

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.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Printed Books & Bindings - Morgan Library & Museum

Diversity and quality have been hallmarks of this collection, with works spanning Western book production from the earliest printed ephemera to important first editions from the twentieth century. The Morgan Library & Museum's holdings encompass a large number of high points in the history of printi... [ + ]ng, often exemplified by a lone surviving copy or a copy that is perfect in every way. Areas of exceptional strength include incunables, early children's books, fine bindings, and illustrated books.

The collection's strong base derives from the major acquisitions of Pierpont Morgan, who sought to establish in the United States a library worthy of the great European collections. It is rich in special and unique copies, first editions of classical authors, and works of notable printers, such as Jenson and Caxton. Among the highlights are three Gutenberg Bibles, a strong collection of works by Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, John Ruskin, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and William Morris, and classic early children's books. The Carter Burden Collection of American Literature, a major 1998 gift, strengthens the Morgan's twentieth-century holdings with authors such as Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Vladimir Nabokov, Gertrude Stein, and Tennessee Williams.

There are many beautiful and important bindings in the Morgan, but the bindings collection comprises about a thousand volumes acquired primarily to document the development of bookbinding. It is among the finest collections of bindings in this hemisphere, equally strong in quantity and quality. Areas of particular distinction are English, French, and Italian bindings of the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

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

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.

01/15/2019 10:00 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Literary & Historical Manuscripts - Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan's collection of literary and historical manuscripts includes complete manuscripts and working drafts of poetry and prose as well as correspondence, journals, and other documents of important British, European, and American authors, artists, scientists, and historical and political figures... [ + ] from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries. The handwritten documents in the collection preserve the process of human thought and creativity—from mind to pen to paper—with an immediacy and power lacking in texts produced electronically.

The general pattern of the collection was established by Pierpont Morgan, who began to acquire literary and historical manuscripts on a large scale during the 1890s. He sought not to achieve comprehensiveness in any particular field but rather to assemble important documents related to events of historical significance, lives of notable individuals, and the creation of great literary works. By his death in 1913, he had gathered a number of exceptional documents handwritten or signed by influential figures in Western culture, including Elizabeth I, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Napoléon, Sir Isaac Newton, and Voltaire. Morgan had a great interest in major British writers; a centerpiece of his collection was—and still is—the sole surviving manuscript of John Milton's Paradise Lost, transcribed and corrected under the direction of the blind poet. Other collection highlights are Charles Dickens's manuscript of A Christmas Carol, Henry David Thoreau's journals, Thomas Jefferson's letters to his daughter Martha, and manuscripts and letters of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Lord Byron, Wilkie Collins, Albert Einstein, John Keats, Abraham Lincoln, and John Steinbeck.

The Morgan's collection of literary and historical manuscripts has been enriched by many gifts and acquisitions, and twentieth-century holdings have increased significantly. The collection, particularly strong in artists' letters, was greatly enhanced by the Pierre Matisse Gallery Archives, the gift of the Pierre Matisse Foundation in 1997. These archives include more than fifteen hundred letters as well as records of the gallery installations of Balthus, Chagall, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Miró, and other twentieth-century artists. The Carter Burden Collection of American Literature includes important manuscripts and correspondence of John Cheever, Ezra Pound, and Tennessee Williams. The 1999 acquisition of The Paris Review Archive added correspondence, interviews, typescripts, and revised proofs of several hundred post-World War II writers, including Donald Hall, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, George Plimpton, Philip Roth, and Anne Sexton. The Paris Review Archive also includes audio recordings of interviews with major twentieth-century authors.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Music Manuscripts & Printed Music - Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum houses one of the finest collections of music manuscripts in the country. In addition to a large collection of musicians' letters and first editions of scores and librettos, it has the world's largest collection of Mahler manuscripts and substantial holdings of Brahms, Ch... [ + ]opin, Debussy, Mozart, Schubert, and Richard Strauss. The collection spans six centuries and many countries. The Morgan's holdings of material relating to the lives and works of the dramatist William S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur S. Sullivan form the most extensive archive of its kind in the world.

Although Pierpont Morgan is not on record as evincing any notable interest in music, he did make two important purchases: the two earliest dated letters of the thirteen-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the manuscript of Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Sonata no. 10, op. 96, in G Major.

The Morgan's music collection is the result of the generosity of several donors and lenders. In 1962 the Dannie and Hettie Heineman Collection, a small but exceedingly well-chosen selection of music manuscripts, was placed on deposit and then formally given to the Morgan in 1977. In 1968 the institution became a major repository of music manuscripts with the donation of Mary Flagler Cary's extraordinary collection of manuscripts, letters, and printed scores. In 1972 Robert Owen Lehman put on deposit his collection of manuscript scores, the greatest private collection of its kind. In 2008 the Morgan acquired the James Fuld Collection, by all accounts the finest private collection of printed music in the world.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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

Ancient Near Eastern Seals & Tablets - Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan's seals collection is one of the most distinguished in the United States and among the best known in the world. Generally only an inch in height, engraved seals are among the smallest objects ever produced by sculptors. They were carved in great detail with simple tools on semiprecious st... [ + ]ones. These engraved objects provide a continuous artistic and chronological sequence of more than three thousand years. The seals collection covers all the significant styles of Mesopotamian engraving from the end of the fifth millennium B.C. to the fourth century B.C. as well as most of the styles of other countries of the ancient Near East. Areas of particular strength include seals of the second millennium B.C. made outside southern Mesopotamia (Cappadocia, Syria, and Mitannia) as well as Old Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian seals. The Middle Assyrian seals are among the finest in any collection.

Pierpont Morgan collected nearly three thousand cuneiform tablets, the bulk of which are now in the Yale Babylonian Collection, which he founded. The Morgan's collection also includes cuneiform tablets and a few outstanding art objects from the ancient Near East.

Between 1885 and 1908, the American collector William Hayes Ward assembled, probably on Pierpont Morgan's behalf, a collection of 1,157 seals. This became the core of the Morgan's holdings. Two additional major gifts—the collection of Robert F. Kelley, given by his sister Caroline M. Burns in 1977, and that of Jonathan P. Rosen, given in 1986—have enhanced the Morgan's holdings in this area.

01/15/2019 10:30 AM
Tue, January 15
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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