Pierpont Morgan's Study
During the last years of his life, Pierpont Morgan spent a great deal of time in his richly appointed private study, away from the Wall Street offices of his banking firm. In this lush but intimate room, among some of his favorite works of art, Morgan worked, relaxed, and met with art dealers and business associates. It was here that he gathered a group of bankers in 1907 to orchestrate a dramatic resolution to a national financial panic. Low shelves containing rare printed volumes line the study's walls. To the left of the massive fireplace, Morgan's impressive manuscript collection was once secured in a vault lined with solid steel. The red silk wall covering (a reproduction of the deteriorated original) contains the insignia of the Chigi, a great Sienese banking family, and much of the furniture was commissioned by Morgan in the Renaissance style. Pierpont Morgan's portrait hangs over the fifteenth-century mantelpiece, and that of his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr., is displayed between the west windows.
Art of the Renaissance
Nowhere is Pierpont Morgan's affinity for the Renaissance aesthetic more evident than in his study, where he surrounded himself with paintings by Italian and Netherlandish masters and small objects of great beauty. On view in the West Room are many of the works that were installed here during Morgan's lifetime alongside objects acquired since then. They include such highlights as Man with a Pink and two altarpiece panels by the great fifteenth-century Flemish painter Hans Memling (1430/40–1494) as well as a marble bust of the Christ child by Antonio Rossellino (1427–1478).