Morganmobile: Order and Disorder

Though superficially as orderly as any printed book, sketchbooks often conceal disorder between their covers. This portable sketchbook, with its handy pencil loop tucked in along the upper edge and its elastic band closure, was carried for over a decade by Cézanne around Paris and in Aix-en-Provence. He used the pages freely, with no evident concern for chronological sequence. Close examination by conservators recently revealed that at some point the pages were disbound and rearranged into new groupings. The signatures were then re-sewn and re-cased into the original linen canvas cover, leaving scholars to puzzle out the original order of the volume.

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), Sketchbook, in use 1875–85. 75 drawings and 1 watercolor on 48 leaves. Thaw Collection, gift in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Morgan Library and the 50th Anniversary of the Association of Fellows, 1999.9.