The Morgan Library & Museum holds a collection of fifty-seven Persian and Indian album leaves acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan from Charles Hercules Read in 1911. These leaves are collectively known as the Read Albums and are broadly divided into two groups, Persian (MS M.386.1–.21) and Indian (MS M.458.1–.36).
Now that we're all doing, well . . . everything from home we are faced with a few tricky issues. Getting along with our roommates and families, having personal space, and maybe worst of all, having to expose your boring (messy?) abode to your coworkers on Zoom!
Due to temporary closures in New York City resulting from COVID-19, the Morgan’s employees have been working from home. This diary series captures their musings and ponderings while managing the challenges and triumphs of operating at home.
At the end of the first installment of this series on an exhibition in progress, I had discovered, to my horror, that the most robust source available on the subject of an obscure artist named Rick Barton—an essay by Dave Archer (née David Nelson)—had been removed from the Internet.
Conservators in the Thaw Conservation Center (TCC) often spend time just looking at objects in the Morgan’s collection with the goal of understanding the physical structure of the object, the materials that make up the object, the support the object is made on, the techniques used to make the object, the object’s current condition, and even how the object may have looked at the time of its creation.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “This Lime-tree Bower my Prison,” is an extended meditation on immobility. Lamed for a few days in a household accident, Coleridge took the opportunity to write about what it is like to stay in one place and to think about your friends traveling through the world.
The Morgan’s earliest acquisition related to the history of science came in 1907, when J. Pierpont Morgan purchased a small notebook kept by Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) during his late teenage years.
Exhibitions are often multiyear projects. With a monographic exhibition—one that focuses on a single artist—the subject, even when not alive, can come to feel like a significant presence in the life of a curator. As someone who has focused on artists who came to prominence in the second half of the increasingly historical twentieth century, I have been fortunate to “get to know” some of the late artists I have worked on, not only through research in libraries and archives, but also through conversations with the artists’ familes, friends, and acquaintances.
John Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) was the greatest collector of his generation. Over the course of his life, he amassed an unrivalled collection of art and rare books and manuscripts, including three Gutenberg Bibles and the only Raphael altarpiece in any American collection.
We asked some of the Morgan’s drawing and prints curators what their favorite portraits in the Morgan’s collections were, here are their answers.