Book lovers, prepare to be amazed. After walking through the Madison Avenue entrance of The Morgan Library & Museum, visitors will experience a stunning display of rare literary materials dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
This New York City museum and research library features a treasure trove of original letters and manuscripts, many by beloved literary figures such as Jane Austen and Mark Twain. The Morgan collection of works is considered to be one of the most important collections of literary and historical manuscripts in the world, and is a must-see destination for those captivated by literature.
A Financier’s Book Collection
In the early 1900’s, the Morgan Library was built to house the rapidly growing collection of books and manuscripts amassed by American financier John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913.) One of the world’s richest men at the turn of the 20th century, J.P. Morgan was an avid book and art collector, and benefactor enriching the collections of many institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. His private library included a stunning collection of historical and illuminated manuscripts, ancient master drawings and prints, and printed books with rare bindings.
A Private Library Becomes a City’s Treasure
Between 1902 and 1906, J.P. Morgan’s library was built beside his New York home at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. The three-room Italian-Renaissance inspired structure was designed by architect Charles McKim and is often referred to as his masterpiece, offering a majestic yet intimate and elegant environment. The library remained in private hands until 1924, when J.P. Morgan’s son, J.P. Morgan Jr. (1867-1943) fulfilled his father’s dream of sharing his incredible collection with the world and opened the library to the public. Today the museum consists of a complex of buildings which includes the original library.
Highlights of the Collection
There are only fifty copies remaining the world of the Gutenberg Bible, and The Morgan Library & Museum boasts three in its possession. Just some of the other remarkable holdings include an autographed manuscript of the Haffner Symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and autographed journal entries by American author and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau.
From medieval illuminated manuscripts to rare first editions, visitors will marvel at the astonishing collection of works which includes the only surviving manuscript of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Charles Dickens’s manuscript of A Christmas Carol, and letters and manuscripts by major figures such as Jane Austen, John Keats, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Charlotte Brontë and John Steinbeck.
In addition to the many rare manuscripts in the Morgan’s holdings, the museum also showcases drawings and works by great artists such as Rubens, Degas and Leonardo da Vinci, early children’s books and rare printed music, as well as correspondence by post-World War II writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac.
The Morgan also hosts visiting exhibitions from other museums to complement its world-class collections, and features an extensive selection of on-line exhibitions at the official Morgan Library & Museum website.
Programs and Education
The Morgan offers a busy calendar of events including lectures, readings and concert performances relating to the exhibitions currently being showcased. The institution also hosts an art-in-education program for youth that complements classroom studies. Current event schedules and an overview of the museum’s educational program are available at the Morgan’s website.
Dining and Shopping at the Morgan
There are two dining options at The Morgan Museum & Library. Casual dining is available at the Morgan Café, which offers light menus inspired by the museum’s exhibitions in a light-filled, airy glass-enclosed dining area of the museum.
The more formal Morgan Dining Room allows guests to brunch or lunch in the Morgan’s original family dining room, located in a 19th century restored brownstone.
The Morgan Shop sells many unique items including art reproductions, books and collectibles that reflect the museum’s collections.
Visiting The Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan is right in the heart of New York City, located at 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan.
Location: 225 Madison Avenue, New York City, New York
Click to visit The Morgan Library & Museum official website.
Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.