Chalk, pen, wash, paper. Simple materials that create an overwhelmingly complex picture. Until February 2, 2020, the Morgan Library & Museum will exhibit Guercino: Virtuoso Draftsman, a reflection on choice pieces from the Morgan’s collection by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino (1591–1666), who was “arguably the most interesting and diverse draftsman of the Italian Baroque era.”
One of my favorite aspects of my job as a curator at the Morgan Library & Museum is when high school and university classes come to see rare materials. The Morgan is not affiliated with a university, so, like Chaucer’s pilgrims, classes must make a bit of a trek to visit these relics.
On October 4th, 2019, John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal opened at the Morgan Library & Museum, showcasing heretofore underappreciated aspects of Sargent’s iconic oeuvre. Because he was known primarily as a painter of early-twentieth-century European and American elite, the public is most familiar with his highly-finished representations of the grand and great.
This is a guest post by Sam Bussan, a PhD student in the Department of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
I spent this summer at the Morgan working with the Literary & Historical Manuscripts Department to catalog the Maria Knox Letters. This collection of sixty-three letters, almost exactly two centuries old, records the life of a British family in India from 1816 to 1822.
This is a guest post by Dawn-Elin Fraser, Associate Arts Professor, Head of Spoken Voice and Speech for the New Studio on Broadway at NYU.
As an Associate Arts Professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, I teach in the New Studio on Broadway, where our students focus on both musical theater and heightened text. Our student body is talented, eager, and hungry for opportunity. It is also a student population that is overwhelmingly female identified, though the cannon of heightened text (particularly period centered) is primarily written by men with male characters at the heart of the narrative. I wanted to do something to shift that.
This is a guest post by Sean Nortz, a PhD student in the Department of English at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
I was very pleased to be granted a CUNY Graduate Center fellowship this summer to work on the Morgan Library & Museum’s collection of extra-illustrated books from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The Morgan's Exhibitions on Verdi and Sendak as Explorations of Collaboration and Creativity
One might consider the Morgan’s current exhibitions Verdi: Creating Otello and Falstaff—Highlights from the Ricordi Archive and Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak’s Designs for Opera and Ballet to have little in common, save for a shared connection to opera. But in fact, there is much linking these two exhibitions, which explore similar themes of artistic resurgence and the power of collaboration and adaptation.
This is a guest post by Eric Dean Wilson, writer, educator, and doctoral student in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
I’d spent two weeks in the Morgan Library & Museum Reading Room when María Molestina offered to take me to see where they store the Peter Hujar Collection. It’s a humbling experience to see spread before you a life in boxes.
This is a guest post by Timothy Gress, currently an undergraduate at Manhattan College.
I first came to the Morgan Library & Museum to view the exhibition I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson in 2017. During my initial visit I was struck not only by this carefully curated exhibition, but also by works on display in J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library—especially a first edition of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Little did I know that I would soon have the opportunity to write exhibition labels for these same exhibit cases as part of the Morgan’s Treasures from the Vault series.
This is a guest post by Abraham Samuel Shiff, who studies historical topics and has published on William Shakespeare and William Blake.
When I reached retirement age in 2006, I was free to return to graduate studies full time. I enrolled in the history department of Brooklyn College and also studied at the Graduate Center. In a course on the history of science at the Graduate Center, I was assigned to report on an Elizabethan mathematician who was the first to publish in English on the radical theory of Copernicus.