Adventures in Choreographic Notation and the Tale of Two Ballet Rebels or Nijinsky/Nijinska

In the summer of 2023, I was fortunate to accept the CUNY/Morgan Summer Fellowship to assist Dr. Robinson McClellan with research and preparations for the upcoming summer 2024 exhibition focused on the creative conditions and collaborations of the Ballets Russes, Crafting the Ballets Russes: Music, Dance, Design—The Robert Owen Lehman Collection .

An Invitation to Peep: Paper Peepshows from the Eighteenth- to Twentieth-Century Western World at the Morgan

The city street in eighteenth-century Europe was a bustling place with crowds, merchants and all sorts of entertainment, among which was the peepshow. A peepshow involved a box with at least one viewing hole, through which a series of images, spaced sequentially, could be seen. Such boxes were carried around by the showmen who were also the narrators, offering a more interesting experience. For people back then, these boxes were portals to distant landscapes, foreign continents, or battlefields.

Performing Femininity: Saul Steinberg's Depictions of Women

For more than six decades, Saul Steinberg (1914–1999) tackled themes of immigration, identity, war, and other complex issues in humorous yet insightful illustrations for acclaimed publications like The New Yorker. Drawing on his experiences as a Jewish Romanian immigrant who had fled to the United States from Italy at the onset of World War II, Steinberg’s unique perspective and artistic language quickly established him as one of the most renowned cartoonists of the twentieth century.

Fanny Mendelssohn's Easter Sonata

In the late 1820s, the Mendelssohn siblings, Fanny (1805–1847) and Felix (1809–1847), enjoyed some of their happiest years. Their social circle expanded, enriching their lives with gatherings filled with poetry readings, conversations, and music. Rehearsals for the now-famous revival of J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion began at the family home in October 1828.

Color and Texture: An exploration of Ashley Bryan's collage papers

Brightly colored collage of figures in several boats with yellow and orange sails on water depicted in dark and light blue waves with a pink sky in background.

This is a guest post by Lindsey Tyne, Conservation Librarian, NYU Libraries

Ashley Bryan (1923–2022) used colored and hand-painted papers cut into the shapes of people, ships, water, land, and sky to create the collages that fill the pages of Sail Away, 2015, as printed images. When these eighteen collages (2021.25:1–18) entered the collection of the Morgan Library & Museum in 2021 as a gift of the Ashley Bryan Center, I was drawn to the rich colors and textures of the collage papers and immediately recognized one paper, Canson Mi-Teintes®, by its distinctive honeycomb texture.

The Titan and the Lion Dog

A pair of mythical beings, “Titan” and “Lion Dog,” offers an apt entry point to explore the connection between J. P. Morgan and his favorite Pekingese dog, Shun. The great financier’s legendary accomplishments frequently inspire outsized adjectives, and the fabled origins of the diminutive Pekingese conferred a mystical aura.

Following the American Expansion through Martin Egan's Eyes

Browned newspaper clipping with printed text and headline that says "Twelve Years from Dewey's Coming"

This is a guest post by Dr. Laura Diaz-Esteve, a historian of imperialism in Southeast Asia during the 19th and 20th centuries, with a focus on the American occupation of the Philippines.

Veteran historians had told me about the satisfaction of visiting an archive with preconceived ideas of your potential findings and discovering an unexpected line of inquiry even more interesting than what you had imagined. My visit to the Martin Egan Collection was my first practical encounter with such an experience.

Pulling Back the Curtains, Raising Shutters, and a Trip to Morgan's Bathroom: Discovering Swiss Stained Glass in J. Pierpont Morgan's Library

Building and decorating J. Pierpont Morgan’s library was a carefully considered endeavor. After construction was complete, Morgan had panels of historic stained glass inset into the windows of his study, the librarian’s office, and the East Room, as well as in smaller spaces such as his bathroom and his manuscript vault.