This past summer I spent some time researching the Morgan’s collection of manuscripts and letters by Henry James for an essay to be published next year in the book accompanying the exhibition Henry James and American Painting.
A few months ago, the Morgan acquired a group of letters from Henry James to George Higginson and his wife, Emily.
I always had a strong suspicion that one of my favorite poets, William Butler Yeats, must have visited Pierpont Morgan’s library during one of his four visits to New York City between 1911 and 1933.
From the weeks running up to Election Day until the inauguration in January, a group of recently acquired photographs on view in the Annex adopts various angles on democracy and electioneering.
Lincoln Speaks, a 15-minute film, was originally produced to accompany the exhibition and features contemporary writers and scholars discussing the power of Lincoln’s language and his enduring legacy in American political life.
Conservators working in the Thaw Conservation Center at the Morgan Library & Museum undertake technical research projects relating to the objects they are treating for the Morgan's robust exhibition and loan program, for digitization, and for scholarly access in the Reading Room.
One of the first books printed in Italy is St. Augustine’s De civitate dei. It was printed at the Benedictine monastery of Subiaco on 12 June 1467 by Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz. A recent reference request took me to our copy of the Subiaco De civitate dei. As was traditional, the printers left space in the type-set page for the addition of hand decoration and painted letters. The style of painting often tells you were the book ended up after it left the printing press and hopefully who its first owner was. The Morgan’s De civitate dei left Subiaco and crossed the Alps to Salzburg, where the artist Ulrich Schreier decorated the book for Bernhard von Kraiburg (1412–1477), Bishop of Chiemsee (Bavaria).
Harington’s translation of Orlando Furioso is one of the great masterworks of English literature. It made this sprawling epic poem easily accessible in court circles where there was a constant demand for Ariosto’s stories of sieges, battles, quests, enchantments, damsels in distress, and feats of chivalry. Harington dedicated it to Queen Elizabeth, who is said to have commanded him to perform the task of translating nearly forty thousand lines of Italian verse as a punishment for having shown one of the ribald episodes to the ladies of the court.
Born of the commitment to offer the Morgan Library & Museum’s famed collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts as a resource to New York City schoolchildren, the Morgan Book Project aims to integrate book arts into Common Core State Standard-based curricula and the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts.
What would Halloween be without monsters, and what would monsters be without Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818)? The work has been cited as the most widely published English novel of all time—a book, written by a 19-year-old, that launched a thousand translations, imitations, and adaptations on stage and screen.