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Exhibitions | Past

New at the Morgan: Acquisitions Since 2004
April 17 through October 18, 2009

Top: John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) Portrait of Paul-César Helleu, ca. 1882–85 Watercolor in tones of brown, tan, cream, gray, rose, and violet over pencil.
9 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (235 x 373 mm)
Gift of Rose Pitman Hughes and J. Lawrence Hughes in memory of Junius and Louise Morgan; 2005.5

Middle: Vincent van Gogh, letter to Paul Gauguin, Arles, 17 October 1888, Pen and brown/black ink on one vertically folded sheet of white wove, blue squared paper
10 3/8 x 8 1/4 inches (26.3 x 21.0 cm)
One sketch: The Bedroom
The Morgan Library & Museum; MA 6447
Gift of Eugene V. Thaw in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007

Bottom: Letter from Oscar Wilde to Bernulf Clegg, 1891. From a volume of manuscripts and letters of Oscar Wilde from the collection of the 11th Marquess of Queensberry. Gift of Lucia Moreira Salles. The Morgan Library & Museum; MA 7258.9

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Presenting over one hundred works that underscore the great scope of the Morgan's collecting interests, the exhibition included 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 works acquired since 2004 and included items by seminal figures from various genres.

The earliest work on view was 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 were 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 included sheets by Rembrandt, Degas, Sargent, and Matisse. The show also featured 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 was the prominence of works by contemporary artists. In addition to the work by Alexander Ross, on view were drawings by Helen Frankenthaler, Red Grooms, Robert Morris, and Bruce Nauman, among others. Modern photography was also represented with works by Irving Penn and Diane Arbus.

This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of the Council of Fellows, with a lead gift from Karen and Mo Zukerman.

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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.