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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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.

10/29/2018 10:00 AM
Mon, October 29
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

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.

10/29/2018 10:00 AM
Mon, October 29
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.

10/30/2018 10:00 AM
Tue, October 30
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

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.

10/30/2018 10:30 AM
Tue, October 30
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.

10/30/2018 10:30 AM
Tue, October 30
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

@morganlibrary

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