Stop 53. Entrance Doors



Jennifer Tonkovich, Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of Drawings and Prints
Though the doors to the Morgan Library evoke Italian Renaissance precedents such as Lorenzo Ghiberti’s doors for the Florence Baptistery, they were a modern creation. Likely the work of American sculptor Waldo Story, the doors were sold through the Florentine dealer Stefano Bardini and his agents and passed through a series of dealers before reaching New York. They were installed at the Library in October 1904. Their purported Renaissance origins, masking their contemporary creation, led to confusion that has only recently been clarified through archival research.

The heavy wood doors are made of walnut with mahogany moldings. Each measures nine-and-a-half feet tall and is adorned with cast bronze panels that depict scenes in the life of Christ. A modern touch is the doorbell, which is cleverly concealed in one of the perimeter rosettes at right.

See video: Restoration of J. Pierpont Morgan's Library: Doors