Belle da Costa Greene: Collecting Chinoiserie

This is a guest post by Araceli Bremauntz-Enriquez (she/her), Morgan Library & Museum Summer Graduate Fellow, CUNY, The Graduate Center.

Belle da Costa Greene, the Morgan Library & Museum’s first director, worked devotedly to expand, organize, and research the museum’s collection. Outside of her role at the Morgan, she acquired works of art and curated a substantial personal collection of works on paper, sculpture, and paintings.

New Acquisition: Ars moriendi Blockbook

The Morgan recently acquired a rare copy of the Ars moriendi blockbook, printed in the Netherlands about 1467–69 (identified in the literature on blockbooks as edition IIA, that is, the first state of the second edition). This fragmentary copy—only fifteen of twenty-four total leaves—was in a private collection in Belgium.

New Acquisition: J.D. Salinger Letters to his Fiction Editor

The Morgan has acquired thirteen letters written by the American writer J.D. Salinger (1919–2010) to his editor at The New Yorker in the 1940s and 50s, Gustavus “Gus” Lobrano (d. 1956). The letters are part of a larger acquisition of letters, manuscripts, and printed books related to Gus Lobrano and his daughter, Dorothy “Dotty” Lobrano Guth (1928–2016), who also worked at The New Yorker.

Credit Where Credit's Due: Peter Burra, Douglas Cooper, and the Vincent van Gogh–Émile Bernard letters

Douglas Cooper’s acclaimed 1938 translation of Vincent van Gogh’s Letters to Émile Bernard owes a debt to the uncompleted work of author and critic, Peter Burra, who died in a flying accident in April 1937. Intended or not, Cooper (writing under the pseudonym Douglas Lord) failed to acknowledge the work that Burra had already undertaken on the Bernard Letters with the result that his contribution to Van Gogh scholarship has been overlooked.

Miriam Schapiro's Rondo: Let's Dance

Dancing figure in long dress surrounded by bright orange, red, green, and blue.

During the 2021 winter holiday season, the Morgan received as a gift Rondo, a group of twenty-four collages by feminist-art pioneer Miriam Schapiro (American, born in Canada, 1923–2015). The donors, Peter and Kirsten Bedford, commissioned them in 1988 for a series of clothbound artists’ books published under their San Francisco imprint, Bedford Arts.

Master of the Burgundian Prelates

On December 21, 2021, the Department of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts received an exciting gift from Marguerite Steed Hoffman, member of the department’s Visiting Committee. It is a Book of Hours illuminated by an important fifteenth-century French artist—the Master of the Burgundian Prelates—whose work, prior to this donation, was not represented at the Morgan.

Not A Long Life, But A Happy One: Researching and Cataloging the Letters of Maria Tunno

This is a guest post by Madeleine Barnes, a writer, visual artist, and doctoral candidate in English Literature at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

This summer, I was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to research and write detailed catalog descriptions of nineteenth-century women’s letters during a summer fellowship at the Morgan Library & Museum.