The Morgan Library


The Morgan Library in Manhattan

225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street

New York, NY 10016

(212) 685-0008

Written by Scott Messmore

The Morgan Library is a collection of rare medieval and Renaissance books, manuscripts, drawings, paintings and music that was once the private library of financial magnate Pierpont Morgan. The library was built next to Morgan's Madison Avenue residence. Around the turn of the century, Morgan started collecting books to rival the great libraries of Europe. After his death, Morgan's equally successful son, J.P. Morgan, converted the private library for public use and scholarly research. Today the Morgan Library is one of the finest libraries in the nation for medieval and Renaissance materials. The Morgan library also has public exhibitions of art work and ancient artifacts. Visitors can see ancient tablets and seals from fifth century Persia or three copies of the Gutenberg Bible.

The Morgan Library Collections

The Morgan Library music collection possesses letters from Mozart, sheet music penned by Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Schubert, Stravinsky and composers Gilbert and Sullivan. In the manuscript collection are letters from Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, Voltaire and Abraham Lincoln, Thoreau and letters from Thomas Jefferson to his daughter.

Ruskin's Italy, Ruskin's England is an exhibit showing Victorian Age artist John Ruskin's watercolors, drawings, books and manuscripts. Highlights of the show are Ruskin's "The Stones of Venice", "Self Portrait with Blue Neckcloth" and "The Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century".

Starting in January of 2001 and showing until April, is Jean Poyet: Artist to the Court of Renaissance France. Poyet painted for three French kings in the 1400s and early 1500s.

Hours of Operation and Location

The Morgan Library is located at 29 East 36th St., between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue. The Morgan Library hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday nights; 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The Morgan Library is closed on Mondays and holidays. On Friday evenings, during the extended hours to 8 p.m., visitors can experience the art work and enjoy music in the Garden Court. The Morgan Library asks that visitors donate: adults, $8, seniors and students, $6; free for children under 12 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult while in the Morgan Library. Tours of the Morgan Library are held every day. Groups of 10 people or more must make a reservation. For regular or group tours of the Morgan Library, call 212-685-0008, extension 390. A small cafe serves light foods and afternoon tea at the library.

For more information about the Morgan Library, call 212-685-0610.

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