Blog

“A Curious Associational Electricity”

Sixty years ago today, John Steinbeck wrote this letter to Frederick Adams, the Director of the Pierpont Morgan Library. Steinbeck was an old friend of Adams and his letter, followed by the author’s subsequent visit to the Library, brought about a rekindling of their personal relationship and the beginning of Steinbeck’s scholarly and philanthropic relationship with the Morgan. This letter (MA 6432.1) conveys Steinbeck’s intellectual excitement at the prospect of closely examining the Library’s medieval manuscripts and books from the incunable period.

Paging Dr. Baldwin

This past summer I spent some time researching the Morgan’s collection of manuscripts and letters by Henry James for an essay to be published next year in the book accompanying the exhibition Henry James and American Painting.

The Elect

From the weeks running up to Election Day until the inauguration in January, a group of recently acquired photographs on view in the Annex adopts various angles on democracy and electioneering.

From Subiaco to Salzburg: St. Augustine in Austria

One of the first books printed in Italy is St. Augustine’s De civitate dei. It was printed at the Benedictine monastery of Subiaco on 12 June 1467 by Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz. A recent reference request took me to our copy of the Subiaco De civitate dei. As was traditional, the printers left space in the type-set page for the addition of hand decoration and painted letters. The style of painting often tells you were the book ended up after it left the printing press and hopefully who its first owner was. The Morgan’s De civitate dei left Subiaco and crossed the Alps to Salzburg, where the artist Ulrich Schreier decorated the book for Bernhard von Kraiburg (1412–1477), Bishop of Chiemsee (Bavaria).