Blog

Master of Catherine of Cleves: Acquisition of a Previously Unknown Illumination

Late on a January afternoon in 2018, I was looking at the offerings of books, prints, and manuscripts in a catalogue for a forthcoming sale at the auction house of Venator & Hanstein in Cologne. At lot 533, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.

The Origins of the Drawings Department at the Morgan

Once the Pierpont Morgan Library’s newly-completed Annex building opened to the public in 1928, the Library’s activities and staff expanded. The collection of prints and drawings could be consulted by scholars in the Reading Room, and works were routinely included in presentations in the main exhibition gallery.

Corners and Edges: The Physical Evidence of Édouard Vuillard’s Sketchbooks

Several of the drawings included in Édouard Vuillard: Sketches and Studies come from sketchbooks spanning the artist’s entire career with dates as early as the 1890s to the 1930s. This exhibition provides the unique opportunity to learn about Vuillard’s preferred sketching materials. While preparing the drawings for installation, I looked for connections between them, with particular attention to similarities and differences in the physical evidence.

She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400–2000 BC (September 10, 2021 through January 16, 2022)

The first author known by name in history was a woman: Enheduanna. She received this name, which means “high priestess, ornament of heaven” in Sumerian, upon her appointment to the temple of the moon god in Ur, a city in southern Mesopotamia, in present-day Iraq.

Slow Art: Helène Aylon

Helène Aylon’s mature career began in the late 1960s, when she was nearly forty years old and already a widow raising two children. In 1977 and ‘78, she was among ten women interviewed by the writer Gloria Frym for a volume called Second Stories: Conversations with Women Whose Artistic Careers Began After Thirty-Five.

New Acquisition: Martin Puryear's Prints

In January 2021, the Morgan acquired an exceptional group of twenty prints by Martin Puryear. Made between 2001 and 2014 at Paulson Bott Press, Berkeley, CA, they represent nearly all the prints Puryear made during the first fifteen years of the 21st century and include several of his most important works in this medium.

Humanistic Relics: the vision of Jannis Kounellis

During my residency at the Morgan as a postdoctoral fellow at the Drawing Institute, I was particularly struck by a drawing in the collection. Made by the Greek-born Italian artist Jannis Kounellis (1936–2017), it was acquired in 2016 thanks to the generosity of the Morgan’s Modern & Contemporary Collectors Committee. The drawing related directly to my research, which focused on Italian drawing in the 1960s and 1970s.