Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Library of Distinction

When I was planning my trip to New York, I did an internet search of things to see and one of the things that came up that I had not seen before was the Morgan Library & Museum.  The photos on the website convinced me that it was a "must see".  The entrance is located on Madison Avenue at 36th Street and it leads into a modern area that joins together three historical buildings.  Those stairs to the far right of the above photo, lead to the original Morgan Library built between 1902 and 1906.  It was built as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan.

The entrance foyer of the library feels like you are entering a church or some other holy place.

It is covered in marble. mosaics and topped with a grand dome.

The domed ceiling is surrounded by panels that tell biblical and mythological stores.  There is something to see in every direction.  You might get a bit stiff in the neck looking at it all.

His library office has a definite masculine feel with walls covered in red brocade and red velvet furnishings.  The large fireplace on one wall is crowned with a portrait of Pierpont himself.

But, it was the actual library room that drew me back for a second look after our tour had ended.  The walls are covered with bookcases with exception of this wall that is dominated by a huge tapestry.

The beautify of all those books sequestered behind glass doors and framed by polished dark wood was warming to my soul.  It felt like you could sit in the room and just absorb all the knowledge to be found in those millions of pages.

The Morgan Library is the only museum in the world to possess three copies of the Gutenberg Bible. Two of their copies are on paper (as above) and one is printed on vellum.  Considering there are only 50 copies remaining in the world, that is quite a legacy for the museum to protect.

I was very remiss in not getting a photo of the front of the original library from the 36th Street side so this miniature model will have to do.  It is as grand looking from the outside as it is from the inside.

There were many more things to see in the museum and I'll feature some of those things in a future post.  I'm so glad I made a point of seeing this amazing place.


Judy Ryer said...

Amazing is right! I'm glad you got to see this and share it.

William Kendall said...

Wow! Incredible!

Catalyst said...

You probably know how happy I always am to see a post about a grand library. Just thinking, have you ever been to the Strand bookstore in New York? I would love to visit it.