New at the Morgan: Acquisitions Since 2004

April 17 through October 18, 2009
Image of Collection Highlights of Acquisitions Since 2004

Presenting over one hundred works that underscore the great scope of the Morgan's collecting interests, the exhibition includes old-master and modern drawings, literary and musical manuscripts, illuminated texts, and rare printed books and bindings. The selections are drawn from more than 1,200 works acquired since 2004 and include items by seminal figures from various genres.

The earliest work on view is a treatise in praise of poetry, dating to ca. 1300; the most recent, a drawing by Alexander Ross, dates to 2007. Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts are represented by, among other objects, the jewel-like Prayer Book of Queen Claude de France and the Book of Hours of the scribe Guillaume Lambert. Drawings include sheets by Rembrandt, Degas, Sargent, and Matisse. The show also features manuscripts and letters by Robert Frost, Vincent van Gogh, Henry James, Dylan Thomas, and Oscar Wilde. A large group of first-edition music scores that came to the Morgan as part of the James Fuld Collection are also on view, notably a sketch by Beethoven for his Seventh Symphony and a set of proofs of Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

A highlight of the exhibition is the prominence of works by contemporary artists. In addition to the work by Alexander Ross, on view are drawings by Helen Frankenthaler, Red Grooms, Robert Morris, and Bruce Nauman, among others. Modern photography is also represented with works by Irving Penn and Diane Arbus.

This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of the Council of Fellows, with a lead gift from Karen and Mo Zukerman.

Top: John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) Portrait of Paul-César Helleu, ca. 1882–85 Watercolor in tones of brown, tan, cream, gray, rose, and violet over pencil.
9 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (235 x 373 mm)
Gift of Rose Pitman Hughes and J. Lawrence Hughes in memory of Junius and Louise Morgan; 2005.5

Middle: Vincent van Gogh, letter to Paul Gauguin, Arles, 17 October 1888, Pen and brown/black ink on one vertically folded sheet of white wove, blue squared paper
10 3/8 x 8 1/4 inches (26.3 x 21.0 cm)
One sketch: The Bedroom
The Morgan Library & Museum; MA 6447
Gift of Eugene V. Thaw in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007

Bottom: Letter from Oscar Wilde to Bernulf Clegg, 1891. From a volume of manuscripts and letters of Oscar Wilde from the collection of the 11th Marquess of Queensberry. Gift of Lucia Moreira Salles. The Morgan Library & Museum; MA 7258.9

Selected images

Book of Hours of Guillaume Lambert, Rome use, in Latin

Melvin R. Seiden Collection, 2007

Red Grooms
(b. 1937)

Rudy Burckhardt at Machu Picchu

Gift of Lysiane Luong Grooms and Red Grooms

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Figures on a Busy Street

Bequest of Fred Ebb

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Il dissoluto punito o sia: Il D. Giovanni

James Fuld Collection

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Four Musicians with Wind Instruments

Thaw Collection

Alexander Ross
(American, born in Denver, Colorado, 1960)


Purchased as the gift of Whitney B. Armstrong and on the Young Associates Fund for Twentieth-Century Acquisitions

John Singer Sargent

Portrait of Paul-César Helleu

Gift of Rose Pitman Hughes and J. Lawrence Hughes in memory of Junius and Louise Morgan

Egon Schiele


Bequest of Fred Ebb

Giacomo Torelli

Scene e machine preparate alle Nozze di Teti, Balletto Reale

Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2008

"Saint James," woodcut in Catholic Church

Purchased as the gift of the B. H. Breslauer Foundation and on the B. H. Breslauer Foundation Fund, the Curt F. Bühler Fund, the Lathrop C. Harper Fund, and the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2007

Richard Wagner

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Acts 2 and 3

James Fuld Collection

Jean Antoine Watteau

Head of a Woman, Turned Three-Quarters to the Right

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Kramarsky in memory of Lola and Siegfried Kramarsky on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Morgan Library and the 50th anniversary of the Association of Fellows

Trinity Adored by the Choirs of Angels (fols. 24v–25)

Gift of Mrs. Alexandre P. Rosenberg in memory of her husband Alexandre Paul Rosenberg, 2008