Take a closer look at three touching, humanist drawings by Rembrandt (1606 –1669) in the Morgan’s collection. John Pierpont Morgan loved Rembrandt. He owned 500 prints by Rembrandt, and in 1909 acquired his first drawings by the artist. Today, the Morgan has about 23 drawings in the collection by Rembrandt. A master of the European Baroque, Rembrandt’s paintings are often of grand themes. In his drawings, there is an intimacy and affection that has endeared him to generations of viewers. Listen to Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan, as he shares his perspective on Rembrandt’s facility, creativity, and mastery.
Tag Archives: The Morgan Library
Morgan Library: ‘Holbein – Capturing Character’
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543) was among the most skilled, versatile, and inventive artists of the early 1500s. He created captivating portraits of courtiers, merchants, scholars, and statesmen in Basel, Switzerland, and later in England, and served as a court painter to Tudor King Henry VIII (1491–1547). Enriched by inscriptions, insignia, and evocative attributes, his portraits comprise eloquent visual statements of personal identity and illuminate the Renaissance culture of erudition, self-fashioning, luxury, and wit. February 11 through May 15, 2022
Morgan Library Exhibits: ‘Van Eyck To Mondrian’
Building on the Morgan’s tradition of presenting to the American public distinguished works from outstanding institutions abroad, Van Eyck to Mondrian: 300 Years of Collecting in Dresden focuses on the exceptional drawing collection of the Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden.
Established by Augustus II the Strong, Elector of Saxony, in 1720, the museum is one of the oldest and finest depositories of works on paper in the world. The exhibition celebrates pivotal moments and key traditions in the history of European draftsmanship. Most remarkably, it will feature Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of an Elderly Man (ca. 1435–40)—an exceptionally rare drawing by the great Netherlandish Renaissance painter, which has never before traveled to the United States.
The Kupferstich-Kabinett’s strength in Northern Renaissance and Baroque drawings will be further showcased through works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein the Younger, Rembrandt, and Rubens, while the museum’s rich holdings of Southern European works will be represented by Correggio, Bronzino, Sofonisba Anguissola, and others.
Among works produced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, highlights include studies by Caspar David Friedrich, Goya, Käthe Kollwitz, Gustav Klimt, Otto Dix, and Piet Mondrian.
Artist Profiles: French Painter Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721)
Director Colin B. Bailey takes a close look at three drawings by Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), considered some of the finest drawings in the Morgan’s collection: Seated Young Woman (ca. 1716), Young Woman Wearing a Chemise (ca. 1718), and Two Studies of the Head and Shoulders of a Little Girl.
Arts & Literature: ‘The Morgan Library & Museum’
The Morgan Library & Museum, formerly the Pierpont Morgan Library, is a museum and research library in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It is situated at 225 Madison Avenue, between 36th Street to the south and 37th Street to the north.
A complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913), one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. As early as 1890 Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints.
Mr. Morgan’s library, as it was known in his lifetime, was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the library was intended as something more than a repository of rare materials. Majestic in appearance yet intimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings. The result was an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America’s Age of Elegance. Completed three years before McKim’s death, it is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In 1924, eleven years after Pierpont Morgan’s death, his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867–1943), known as Jack, realized that the library had become too important to remain in private hands. In what constituted one of the most momentous cultural gifts in U.S. history, he fulfilled his father’s dream of making the library and its treasures available to scholars and the public alike by transforming it into a public institution.
Over the years—through purchases and generous gifts—The Morgan Library & Museum has continued to acquire rare materials as well as important music manuscripts, early children’s books, Americana, and materials from the twentieth century. Without losing its decidedly domestic feeling, the Morgan also has expanded its physical space considerably.
In 1928, the Annex building was erected on the corner of Madison Avenue and 36th Street, replacing Pierpont Morgan’s residence. The Annex connected to the original McKim library by means of a gallery. In 1988, Jack Morgan’s former residence—a mid-nineteenth century brownstone on Madison Avenue and 37th Street—also was added to the complex. The 1991 garden court was constructed as a means to unite the various elements of the Morgan campus.
The largest expansion in the Morgan’s history, adding 75,000 square feet to the campus, was completed in 2006. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, the project increases exhibition space by more than fifty percent and adds important visitor amenities, including a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new café and a new restaurant, a shop, a new reading room, and collections storage. Piano’s design integrates the Morgan’s three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel-and-glass pavilions. A soaring central court connects the buildings and serves as a gathering place for visitors in the spirit of an Italian piazza.