Blog

A Tale of Two Japans: Oriental Queerness in Fin de Siècle Imaginations

This is a guest post by Paris Shih, a Taiwanese writer, cultural critic, and Ph.D. candidate in English at the CUNY Graduate Center.

In “The Birthday of Madame Cigale,” Aubrey Beardsley’s famous Japonaiserie drawing for The Studio, the ceremonial scene is rendered through the style of the Kanō school as well as the genre of ukiyo-e.

Distrust in the Strength of Paper, Part I

In the history of European bookbinding, the transition from parchment to paper as the primary material for text leaves caused an associated shift in bookbinding practices, as bookbinders adapted to what they thought of as a weaker material. Parchment is made of animal skin, prepared by dehairing, stretching, scraping, and drying, whereas paper at the time was made of plant-based materials, such as cotton and flax.

Creating the Morgan's Centennial Graphic Identity

Miko McGinty Inc. is a design office based in Brooklyn. Our firm has been working with the Morgan Library & Museum since 2008. We were thrilled to draw on our long-standing collaboration with the Morgan to create a new centennial logo, which celebrates the Morgan’s unique and varied collections.

Peter Hujar's Contact Sheets: Record-Keeping and Ephemeral Proof

Ten years ago, the Morgan’s Department of Photography made a landmark acquisition: Peter Hujar’s papers, 100 photographic prints, and 5,783 black-and-white contact sheets. The contact sheets are of great importance: they span the artist’s career from 1955 until his death of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1987, and index nearly every black-and-white exposure that he made.

All But Forgotten: Frederic Hastings Smyth (1888–1960)

The Herbert Cahoon papers (MA 4733) contain a series of letters dating from 1941 to 1959 from Frederic Hastings Smyth (1888–-1960) to Herbert Cahoon, Curator of the Literary and Historical Manuscripts Department at the Pierpont Morgan Library from 1954 to 1989. Smyth was an Anglo-Catholic priest and Marxist revolutionary who was simultaneously engaged in Christian theological debate and extremist politics.

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.