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1906: Mr. Morgan's Library and Study

1928: A Public Institution

2006: The Renzo Piano Expansion and Renovation
  Belle da Costa Greene thumbnail
Belle da Costa Greene

Librarian's Office thumbnail
Librarian's Office

Librarian's Office
Open to public view for the first time is the original Librarian's Office in the historic McKim building. The room is located at the north end of the entrance Rotunda that separates Morgan's Library from his Study.

The Librarian's Office is the smallest of the McKim rooms and was the office of Belle da Costa Greene (1879–1950), Morgan's personal librarian, a leading figure in the international art world and the first director of the Morgan. The room continued to serve as the office for successive Morgan directors until the 1980s. Today, the director's office is located in the Morgan House, the 1850s brownstone at the corner of Madison Avenue and 37th Street.

In addition to a number of original furnishings, the Librarian's Office contains, among other objects, Antoine-Louis Barye's (1796–1875) bronze Candelabrum with Figures of Juno, Minerva, and Venus, and a bronze sculpture of John Ruskin by Gutzon Borglum (1867–1941). 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 (1474–1554). The ceiling paintings are by James Wall Finn (1866–1913). They are mostly copies after well-known work, several are based on the frescoes by the workshop of Cavaliere d'Arpino at the Casino Montalto in Bagnaia and one is based on Tiepolo's Neptune offering gifts to Venice in the Palazzo Ducale of Venice. The large central panel depicts Truth Revealed by Time.

A 1910 photograph of Greene is also on display. In 1905, as the construction of his library neared completion, Pierpont Morgan hired her to manage his growing collection of rare books and manuscripts. She would also play an increasingly important role in building the institution's collections after Morgan's death.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.