Treasures from the Vault

March 13 through July 8, 2018

The Morgan is home to some of the world's greatest collections of medieval manuscripts, printed books and bindings, literary manuscripts, private letters and correspondence, and original music. Treasures from the Vault, an ongoing exhibition series, features works drawn from these diverse collections in the sumptuous setting of Pierpont Morgan's 1906 Library.

Highlights from this rotation include a leaf from The Morgan Picture Bible—one of the great masterpieces of Gothic art—and a manuscript of Persian poems by Badr al-Dı ̄n Hilālı ̄, copied and illuminated in Uzbekistan in the 16th century. Also on view are manuscript poems by Elizabeth Bishop and by contemporary poet Amanda Gorman, who was chosen by Urban Word in 2017 to be the Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. The first English edition of Heidi will be displayed along with a little-known work by Langston Hughes, and a selection of elaborately-embroidered bindings, uniquely crafted for 17th-century devotional books. César Franc’s Sonata in A major for violin and piano—one of the models used by Marcel Proust for Vinteuil’s famous sonata in Remembrance of Things Past—is among the examples of music manuscripts on display.

Featured in the library’s rotunda is a heartfelt letter from Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson, following the death of his daughter, a hand-painted leaf from William Blake’s illuminated book, America: A Prophecy (1795), and other items relating to American history.

Treasures from the Vault is funded in perpetuity in memory of Christopher Lightfoot Walker.

Biblia Latina, Mainz: Johann Gutenberg & Johann Fust, ca. 1455, PML 12