Morgan Library

The Morgan Library & Museum

Morgan Library
Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

Pierpont Morgan Library Revisitedβ–Ί

I’d previously written about my visit to the Morgan Library and Museum with a friend from France. That was years ago, before Covid, and Madison Avenue teemed with passersby and tourists. Recently, I walked a deserted early-morning midtown and snapped a couple of photos of the historic brownstone.

History of the Libraryβ–Ί

J.P. Morgan was the USA’s most influential banker. He financed the railroad, US Steel, General Electric, and other enterprises. With a group of other bankers, he helped to stabilize American markets during the Panic of 1907.

He also collected rare books, manuscripts, antiquities and art, using his nearly inexhaustible funds. In order to house his vast collections, he built a lavish library in 1906. Following JP Morgan’s death, in 1924, his son opened the Morgan Library to the public as a museum.

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J.P. Morgan used the West Room as his private study. Its furnishings reflect his fondness for the art of the Renaissance. It was here that he met with the group of bankers in 1907 to resolve the national economic crisis. There is a vault in this room for the most valuable manuscripts.

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The rotunda, with its marble columns and elaborate ceilings, was the original entrance to Morgan’s private study. The blue and white reliefs are modeled after the work of the artist Raphael in Rome. The paintings represent the three ages contained in Morgan’s collections: The Antiquities, Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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The East Room is the original library. It is three stories of carved walnut and contains rare books including a Bible printed by Johannes Gutenberg in 1455.

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More modern buildings were added to the museum later and contain rotating and permanent exhibits. We enjoyed the Etruscan jewelry section! Hopefully, visitors will return to enjoy the collections now as the city reopens.

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Location: 225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016
Designation: National Historic Landmark
Date designated/established: November 13, 1966
Date of my visit: April 10, 2021

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