Experience the Elegance of 20th Century New York City
The Morgan Library is an endowment from Pierpont Morgan and his son J.P. and hosts one of the finest collections of European manuscripts and rare documents in the country. The library hosts revolving exhibitions on literary classics, like recent examples The Little Prince and DaVinci. What is special about the Morgan Library is its true Renaissance style; it has remained pristine and beautiful against the test of time. The library has opened a restaurant and features a glass atrium that shows seasonal exhibits by various artists. The Morgan Library is a wonderful place to go to contemplate society’s aim for enlightenment.
Photo by dslrnovice/Flickr.
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JP Morgan's Old-World Library
The JP Morgan Library's grand, old-world elegance immediately transports you to turn-of-the-century New York. And at that time, there was almost no one more powerful than financier JP Morgan. He launched U.S. Steel and even served as the unofficial central bank of the U.S. for a time. Though some considered him a national hero, his tight control of banks, corporations and railroads led others to label him one of the original "robber barons."
Morgan was an avid collector of art and books with holdings so vast they were housed at multiple locations in New York and England. Eventually, he decided to consolidate his holdings in a huge library next to his mansion in NYC. Designed by renowned architect Charles McKim and completed in 1906, the Italian Renaissance palazzo-style library holds a staggering collection of illuminated books, historical manuscripts, and old master drawings.
The library is rightfully considered McKim's masterpiece—a majestic, soaring space which is both intimate and warm. It features 30-foot ceilings, three tiers of bronze and walnut bookcases, stained glass, a huge marble fireplace and grand tapestries. Also visit Mr. Morgan's study, with its red silk damask walls and antique wooden ceiling brought over from Florence.
The library is off the typical tourist's radar. Imagine yourself as Morgan in your private quarters, reveling in the power and wealth at your command.
New York has some very exceptional libraries and one of my favorites is The Morgan Library & Museum. The museum began as the private library of John Pierpont Morgan who lived from 1837 to 1913. He was a financier and his collection includes historical manuscripts, printed books and old master drawings among other items. The museum itself was built between 1902 and 1906 and designed by architect Charles McKim.
Nowadays, the museum's collection is even more expansive and there's also a performance hall, a cafe and restaurant, a shop and a new reading room. Although this museum may seem smaller compared to the MET or the MoMA, there is a lot to see here so plan at least an hour, if not more, to view the exhibits.