Working my way through the Morgan’s enormous collection of letters, one by one—as I’ve been doing for the past ten months on a cataloging grant from the Leon Levy Foundation—has meant regularly encountering extraordinary items whose significance often hasn’t been fully understood.
In 1786, the Clergy of the Cadiz cathedral in Spain commissioned Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) to compose The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross. In 1791, a copyist’s manuscript of the full orchestral score, with annotations by Haydn himself was prepared for a series of concerts to be held in London. The score was bound into two separate volumes, each with a brown calfskin leather spine and marbled paper sides.
Celebrating the July 4th holiday in New Hampshire, I was reminded of Henry James’s sojourn in the White Mountains in the summer of 1865. In his Notes of a Son and Brother, published almost fifty years after that memorable visit, he would recall it as a “splendid American summer,” spent in the company of his witty and gregarious cousin Minny Temple and her sisters, and his close friend Oliver Wendell Holmes.
The Morgan recently hosted our annual Spring Family Fair, and I want to thank you, our visitors, for making it a wonderful day!
It's extra bright in Gilbert Court now that the Morgan's extraordinary Stavelot Triptych is back on display.
The splendid twelfth-century object (from the Abbey of Stavelot in Belgium) was originally intended to hold relic fragments of the True Cross.
This is the rare first edition of an illustrated treatise on the Shroud of Turin, written 15 years after its translation from Chambéry, France to Turin, Italy.
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.
My first encounter with Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, in early childhood, was through film rather than text.
Ernest Hemingway’s interview for The Paris Review, first published in Issue 18 (1958), is arguably one of the most famous in the journal’s history.
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.