Blog

Textured Stories in Thoreau's Walden Pond Journals

This is a guest post by Joshua Calhoun, Associate Professor of English and Faculty Affiliate with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Stone, wood, paper, plants, fabric. These are the textured impressions I find in the memory that, recalled here, become a story about finding stories. One way to tell this story—one that feels all the more urgent after a year of relying almost entirely on digital archives—is to give weight to the materials that shape our memories of archival research.

The Complicated Case of the Renaissance in France: Notes from a Study Day

Figure of Faith is one of the Drawing Department’s more enigmatic works. Rendered in soft black chalk with highlights in opaque white added with a brush, it features a seated woman covered in delicate, classical drapery. Upon closer inspection, you can see that strangely, the figure’s head has been cut out and pasted onto the sheet and that the figure was drawn on a sheet that has been trimmed in the shape of an arch and pasted onto a matching sheet of paper.

Recent Acquisition: Study for Saint Francis by Giambattista Tiepolo

The Morgan’s collection of drawings by the members of the Tiepolo family is one of our great strengths, for we hold roughly 200 drawings by Giambattista Tiepolo (1696–1770), 100 by his son Giandomenico (1727–1804), and a few by his younger son Lorenzo (1736–1776).

A Book Fit for Two Queens

This is a guest post by Kate McCaffrey, MA, University of Kent, Department of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

During my recent research for my master’s degree in medieval and early modern studies at the University of Kent, I was lucky enough to work with a hugely understudied printed Book of Hours once owned, and written in, by Henry VIII’s ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn.

Father Ripa's Engravings of the Mountain Estate

In 2010 the Morgan presented an exhibition on the cultural history of gardens in Europe and America, Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art, and Landscape Design, curated by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and others. The catalogue touches briefly on a question still debated by garden historians: what are the origins of the English style of landscape design?

Listen to the Morgan: Playlists from the Music Collections

These playlists open the Morgan’s music collections to your ears. The one rule is that every track is a piece of music that we hold, in physical form, in the Morgan’s vault—either a unique manuscript or a rare print edition. With thousands of scores both handwritten and printed, spanning six centuries of musical creativity, the Morgan’s collections offer plenty of playlist possibilities.

Master of Catherine of Cleves: Acquisition of a Previously Unknown Illumination

Late on a January afternoon in 2018, I was looking at the offerings of books, prints, and manuscripts in a catalogue for a forthcoming sale at the auction house of Venator & Hanstein in Cologne. At lot 533, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.

The Origins of the Drawings Department at the Morgan

Once the Pierpont Morgan Library’s newly-completed Annex building opened to the public in 1928, the Library’s activities and staff expanded. The collection of prints and drawings could be consulted by scholars in the Reading Room, and works were routinely included in presentations in the main exhibition gallery.

Corners and Edges: The Physical Evidence of Édouard Vuillard’s Sketchbooks

Several of the drawings included in Édouard Vuillard: Sketches and Studies come from sketchbooks spanning the artist’s entire career with dates as early as the 1890s to the 1930s. This exhibition provides the unique opportunity to learn about Vuillard’s preferred sketching materials. While preparing the drawings for installation, I looked for connections between them, with particular attention to similarities and differences in the physical evidence.

She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400–2000 BC (September 10, 2021 through January 16, 2022)

The first author known by name in history was a woman: Enheduanna. She received this name, which means “high priestess, ornament of heaven” in Sumerian, upon her appointment to the temple of the moon god in Ur, a city in southern Mesopotamia, in present-day Iraq.