The Morgan is home to some of the world's finest collections of medieval manuscripts, literary and historical manuscripts, printed books and bindings, letters, and autograph music manuscripts. Treasures from the Vault, an ongoing exhibition series, features works drawn from these diverse collections in the sumptuous setting of Pierpont Morgan's 1906 Library.
Works on view in this rotation include a miniature by the Acarie Master from a royal copy of Le Roman de la Rose, depicting Lucretia, moments before her suicide; a woodcut image of a dissection from a fifteenth-century compendium of medical knowledge; Gwendolyn Brooks’s autograph annotations to her poem, BOYS BLACK, A Preachment, which was first published in “The Black Male” issue of Ebony magazine; and a rare, illustrated broadside by two sisters: the writer Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell.
Also in this rotation, the Morgan celebrates the sesquicentennial of the birth of American composer, Scott Joplin (1868-1917), with illustrated sheet music and a business contract related to his “Maple Leaf Rag.” Visitors to the gallery will be able to listen to an excerpt from a recording of pianist Joshua Rifkin playing Joplin’s work.
Special Exhibition: American Writings from the Gilder Lehrman Collection
Documents from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History—one of the country's foremost archives of Americana—are on view in the Library’s Rotunda. The selection represents significant moments and figures from U.S. history, spanning the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, and the war in Vietnam. Items on display include one of the first stand-alone printings of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1864) and a letter written in 1782 on behalf of the Revolutionary War soldier, Molly Corbin, who fought in battle wearing men’s attire.
Treasures from the Vault is funded in perpetuity in memory of Christopher Lightfoot Walker.