Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fézensac was the arch-aesthete of the Decadent era. Titled, rich, perfectly groomed, and exquisitely attired, he turned himself into a work of art as precious as the poetry he composed and the bibelots he collected.
Two years ago, the Morgan added to its collections a group of eleven drawings acquired from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and disseminate the work of vernacular African-American artists from the Southeastern United States.
In the early days of 2018, I arrived in Los Angeles with appointments to see Henry Evans’s Peregrine Press papers at the Clark Memorial Library and a cache of over 700 drawings by Rick Barton at UCLA Library Special Collections. Although I had been assured that the drawings would be available, I worried that something might go wrong or that the drawings would not have been worth the trip.
Security was critical to Pierpont Morgan, especially with his treasures concentrated in a well-publicized, gleaming new building. He took a number of measures to protect the building and its contents, utilizing both a professional security staff and the latest technology.
When I left New York for the Salon du Dessin in Paris in late March 2019, I did not expect to fall in love with a Flemish drawing. But somewhere between the opening reception at the grand Palais Brongniart—the historic stock exchange building in Paris—and the flight back to JFK a few days later, this large, colorful study by Antwerp-born Jacob Jordaens had cast its spell on me.
As a Canadian artist living in the US, I am both an outsider and a passive participant in our current political climate. I feel an urgency to address issues of class, power, and privilege through my work, while also treading carefully to avoid co-opting the experience of others. Instead, I approach my ideas through a tender provocation, asking myself how I can express a critical perspective that is nevertheless a positive and hopeful contribution.
In this time of social distancing, musicians can’t gather as they normally do, and there’s a lot of ensemble music going unplayed. In response, musicians around the world are staying safe and sane by digging into the solo repertoire. And we’re here to help!
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.