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The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum Once library of financier Pierpont Morgan—now a museum, research library, music venue, architectural

The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. Today it is a museum, independent research library, music venue, architectural landmark, and historic site. A century after its founding, the Morgan maintains a unique position in the cultural life of New York City and is considered one of its greatest treasures.

Operating as usual

Coming soon! "Sublime Ideas: Drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi opens to the public on March 10.In a letter written ...
02/05/2023

Coming soon! "Sublime Ideas: Drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi opens to the public on March 10.

In a letter written near the end of his life, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) explained to his sister that he had lived away from his native Venice because he could find no patrons there willing to support “the sublimity of my ideas.” He resided instead in Rome, where he became internationally famous working as a printmaker, designer, architect, archaeologist, theorist, dealer, and polemicist. While Piranesi’s lasting fame is based above all on his etchings, he was also an intense, accomplished, and versatile draftsman, and much of his work was first developed in vigorous drawings.

The Morgan holds the largest and most important collection of Piranesi’s drawings, well over 100 works that encompass his early architectural capricci, studies for prints, measured design drawings, sketches for a range of decorative objects, a variety of figural drawings, and views of Rome and Pompeii. These form the core of the exhibition, which will also include seldom-exhibited loans from a number of private collections. Accompanied by a publication offering a complete survey of Piranesi’s work as a draftsman, the exhibition will be the most comprehensive look at Piranesi’s drawings in more than a generation.

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Fantasy of a Magnificent Forum, ca. 1765. Morgan Library & Museum, New York, inv. 1974.27.

Judith’s father, Count Baldwin IV of Flanders, named her after Charles the Bald’s daughter, who married the first Count ...
02/04/2023

Judith’s father, Count Baldwin IV of Flanders, named her after Charles the Bald’s daughter, who married the first Count Baldwin. In 1051 she and her husband Tostig (the son of Godwin, brother of King Harold) went to England. Exiled in 1065 and widowed at age thirty-eight in 1066, in 1071 she married Welf IV of Bavaria, whose ancestral monastery was Weingarten. She died in 1094, leaving her books to Weingarten, where she was buried. The binding, possibly Germanic work combining delicate filigree and cast figures representing Christ in Majesty and the Crucifixion, was added in the last third of the eleventh century. The title on the cross, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” is of translucent green enamel.

This gorgeous binding is currently on view in the historic East Room.

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Jeweled binding, bound for Judith of Flanders (d. 1094), cast silver, gilt, gold filigree, and gem mounts, with engraved silver and green cloisonné enamel, on: Gospel Book, in Latin, England, 1051–1064. Purchased by J. P. Morgan Jr., 1926; MS M.708 (front cover)

02/04/2023
Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason

Jennifer Tonkovich, the Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of Drawings and Prints at the Morgan Library & Museum provide an introduction to Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason, which will be on view starting February 24, 2023.

Around 1700, as an increasingly pious Louis XIV withdrew to Versailles, Paris flourished. The dynamic artistic scene included specialists such as Claude Gillot (1673–1722) who forged a career largely outside of the Royal Academy, designing everything from opera costumes to tapestries. Known primarily as a draftsman, Gillot specialized in scenes of satire. He found his subjects among the irreverent commedia dell’arte performances at fairground theaters, in the writings of satirists who waged the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, and in the antics of vice-ridden satyrs whose bacchanals exposed human folly. Gillot’s amusing critiques and rational perspective heralded the advent of the Age of Reason while his innovative approach attracted the most talented artists of the next generation, Antoine Watteau and Nicolas Lancret, to his studio.

With over seventy drawings, prints, and paintings, including an exceptional contingent from the Louvre, Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason explores the artist’s inventive and highly original draftsmanship and places his work in the context of the artistic and intellectual activity in Paris at the dawn of a new century.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will provide the first comprehensive account of Gillot's career.

Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason is made possible by The Florence Gould Foundation, and by generous support from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust and the Alex Gordon Fund for Exhibitions. Additional support is provided by Diane A. Nixon, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Lionel Sauvage, Dr. Joan Taub Ades, Hubert and Mireille Goldschmidt, and Janet Mavec.

Final weekend! "Georg Baselitz: Six Decades of Drawings" closes this Sunday, Feb. 6.One of the most celebrated German ar...
02/03/2023

Final weekend! "Georg Baselitz: Six Decades of Drawings" closes this Sunday, Feb. 6.

One of the most celebrated German artists today, Georg Baselitz gained recognition in the 1960s for revitalizing figurative painting at a time when abstract and conceptual art dominated the international avant-garde. Although he has been committed to traditional genres, such as portraits, landscapes, and still lifes, he has given them new relevance through his forceful and expressive style. Since 1969 a hallmark of his work has been to paint his subjects upside down, a provocative strategy that reflects on the nature of painting and its relationship to the real world.

Georg Baselitz: Six Decades of Drawings is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and the Albertina, Vienna.

This exhibition is made possible by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte.

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Georg Baselitz, Untitled, 1984, Graphite and watercolor on paper, The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of the Baselitz Family; 2022.107. © 2022 Georg Baselitz

Last chance to see the original art for The Little Prince! "The Little Prince: Taking Flight" closes this Sunday, Februa...
02/02/2023

Last chance to see the original art for The Little Prince! "The Little Prince: Taking Flight" closes this Sunday, February 5th.

The Morgan holds the original manuscript and art for one of the world’s most widely read and cherished books, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince (1943). Writing in exile during the second World War, Saint-Exupéry distilled his experience as a pilot into the unforgettable fictive landscape of The Little Prince—a world of wise creatures, headstrong plants, and lovely, lonesome deserts. The exhibition will tell this beloved story through Saint-Exupéry’s remarkable watercolors, drawings, and manuscript drafts, revealing the creative process that brought this work to readers the world over. Photographs, portraits, non-fiction writing, and personal effects will contextualize the author’s milieu, while objects related to the book’s translation and adaptation will follow the subsequent travels of The Little Prince across world languages and media. "The Little Prince: Taking Flight" explores the visionary artistry and timeless wisdom of this classic tale, a story that inspires its readers to encounter new realms of experience with a leap of the imagination.

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Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944)
The little prince flying over a planet with mountains and a river, New York, 1942. The Morgan Library & Museum, MA 2592.34. Photography by Graham S. Haber.

We are kicking off  by honoring Scott Joplin, composer, pianist, and the “King of Ragtime!” Black History Month pays tri...
02/01/2023

We are kicking off by honoring Scott Joplin, composer, pianist, and the “King of Ragtime!” Black History Month pays tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

Here is "Wall Street Rag," a ragtime composition, first published in 1909 and based on the events surrounding the Panic of 1907. Joplin’s music reinvigorated the American music scene with high-spirited dance tunes. He was praised for the way he expressed the energy of modern America.
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1. Joplin, Scott, 1868-1917. Wall Street rag / New York : Seminary Music Co., c1909, front cover. The Morgan Library & Museum, James Fuld Collection (FULD), Photography by Janny Chiu, 2021.
2. Joplin, Scott, 1868-1917. Wall Street rag / New York : Seminary Music Co., c1909, p. 1. The Morgan Library & Museum, James Fuld Collection (FULD), Photography by Janny Chiu, 2021.

Found on the body of Queen Puabi, this deep-blue seal depicts an all-female banquet. The top register portrays two seate...
01/31/2023

Found on the body of Queen Puabi, this deep-blue seal depicts an all-female banquet. The top register portrays two seated figures facing each other. At left is Puabi, who wears a garment draped over one shoulder and sits on a chair that is more decorative than her counterpart’s. She is the only figure on the seal with a well-defined mouth, perhaps alluding to the meaning of her name, “the word of the father.” The attendants between the banqueters stand close-by and gesticulate with their hands, hinting at lively participation. The bottom register features a host of participants, with musicians, dancers, and servers tending to food and drink. Movement expressed in the fringes of dresses, music and dance, and the abundance of provisions all suggest conviviality.

"She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400-2000 BC" closes February 19.

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Cylinder seal (and modern impression) of Queen Puabi Mesopotamia, Sumerian, Ur (modern Tell el-Muqayyar), PG 800, Puabi’s Tomb Chamber, against Puabi’s upper right arm. Early Dynastic IIIa period, ca. 2500 BC. Courtesy of the Penn Museum.

In 2006, inspired by Edvard Munch, who often painted many versions of the same subject, Baselitz launched his Remix seri...
01/30/2023

In 2006, inspired by Edvard Munch, who often painted many versions of the same subject, Baselitz launched his Remix series, named after the musical term. Returning to pivotal works of his early career, he produced new, brighter interpretations, retaining the composition but adopting a faster, more fluid and spontaneous style. The aggressive impulse that had motivated him as a young artist gave way to a lighter touch and more cheerful mode. To revisit works after so many years was “an exciting game,” Baselitz said. “The outcome is a deepening of all that you have experienced so far—very fulfilling and affirmative.”

A retrospective with one hundred works on paper, commemorating the eighty-fifth birthday of Georg Baselitz is now on sale! (link in bio)

To mark his eighty-fifth birthday, the famous international German artist Georg Baselitz donated a collection of works on paper to both the Albertina Museum in Vienna and the Morgan Library in New York. This volume combines the one hundred sheets to create a representative retrospective, providing by virtue of its concentration an important contribution to the understanding of Baselitz’s entire oeuvre. The two extensive sets of drawings and watercolors date from different creative phases, ranging from the early 1960s to the present day. Through this direct medium, the works provide an intimate insight into the artist’s creative process across the past five decades. An interview with Georg Baselitz conducted to mark this publication provides information about the significance of the works on paper in the genesis of his works and within his oeuvre.

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Two Meissen Woodsmen,1967 (Remix) (Zwei Meißener Waldarbeiter 1967 [Remix]), 2006. The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of the Baselitz Family; 2022.127. © 2022 Georg Baselitz. Photography by Jochen Littkemenn.

Coming soon! "Entrance to the Mind: Drawings by George Condo in the Morgan Library & Museum" opens February 24th!In 2021...
01/29/2023

Coming soon! "Entrance to the Mind: Drawings by George Condo in the Morgan Library & Museum" opens February 24th!

In 2021, the Morgan acquired twenty-eight drawings by American artist George Condo (b. 1957) that offer an overview of his career over the last forty-five years. Drawing, or "visual thinking" as he calls it, is central to Condo’s practice, which centers around the figure. Engaged in a continuous dialogue with earlier masters, from Rembrandt and Goya to Picasso and de Kooning, Condo uses traditional styles and techniques to create imaginary portraits in which wild distortions suggest extreme psychological states. "Everybody I draw is kind of a lunatic," he acknowledges. Ranging from early drawings made when he was a teenager to recent explorations into what he calls "psychological Cubism," the exhibition will highlight Condo's brilliant draftsmanship through a cast of characters in turn comic, monstrous, tragic, and endearing.

Prior to the opening on February 23rd, we will host an artist talk with George Condo discussing the role of drawing in his practice and his interest in the art of the past with Isabelle Dervaux, Acquavella Curator and Head of Department, Modern & Contemporary Drawings. Check out our website for more details.

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George Condo, Female Portrait, 2003. The Morgan Library & Museum; 2021.102 © George Condo, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photography by George Condo Studio

Coming soon to the Morgan! "Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason" opens February 24thAround 1700, as an increasing...
01/28/2023

Coming soon to the Morgan! "Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason" opens February 24th

Around 1700, as an increasingly pious Louis XIV withdrew to Versailles, Paris flourished. The dynamic artistic scene included specialists such as Claude Gillot (1673–1722) who forged a career largely outside of the Royal Academy, designing everything from opera costumes to tapestries. Known primarily as a draftsman, Gillot specialized in scenes of satire. He found his subjects among the irreverent commedia dell’arte performances at fairground theaters, in the writings of satirists who waged the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, and in the antics of vice-ridden satyrs whose bacchanals exposed human folly. Gillot’s amusing critiques and rational perspective heralded the advent of the Age of Reason while his innovative approach attracted the most talented artists of the next generation, Antoine Watteau and Nicolas Lancret, to his studio.

With over seventy drawings, prints, and paintings, including an exceptional contingent from the Louvre, Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason explores the artist’s inventive and highly original draftsmanship and places his work in the context of the artistic and intellectual activity in Paris at the dawn of a new century.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will provide the first comprehensive account of Gillot's career.

Curator Jennifer Tonkovich will preview the exhibition in a Virtual Advanced Look on February 1st at 12PM. Register through the link in bio.

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Claude Gillot, Scene of the Two Carriages, ca. 1710-12. Oil on canvas. Département des peintures, Musée du Louvre, Paris; RF2405. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

As our nation is grappling with an alarming surge in antisemitism, it is more critical than ever for us to remember the ...
01/27/2023

As our nation is grappling with an alarming surge in antisemitism, it is more critical than ever for us to remember the lessons of the and pay tribute to its victims and survivors. On International , the Morgan joins with the and people around the world to
commemorate the lives of Europe’s Jews, who were targeted for annihilation, and other victims of N**i persecution.

This is also is a time to reflect on cultural genocide and destruction of Jewish art and artifacts. Pictured here is a Hebrew Bible from France. The scribe, Simon ben Rabbi Samuel (Astruc Samiel d’Ascola), known to be active in Avignon, signed and dated the manuscript., which attests to a thriving and prosperous Sephardi Jewish community in the Mediterranean in the fifteenth century.

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Hebrew Bible made for Vidal Astruc de Carcassonne, Arles,
and containing his heraldic arms. France, Provence, Avignon (?), December 1422. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, MS G.48, fols. 17v–18r.

Do you know the “five unmistakable marks” of a snark? Read on to find out…Often described as a nonsense poem, Lewis Carr...
01/27/2023

Do you know the “five unmistakable marks” of a snark? Read on to find out…

Often described as a nonsense poem, Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark was first published in 1876. The poem follows the sea voyage of ten crewmembers (a bellman, a boot boy, a bonnet maker, a barrister, a broker, a billiard-marker, a banker, a beaver, a baker, and a butcher) in their hunt for an elusive, mythical creature called a snark – specifically a boojum, a particularly dangerous variety of snark.

Researcher Dayna Lozinski had the chance to study several striking copies of this poem in the Reading Room this week for her work as editor of "The Snarkologist,” a journal that publishes articles related to The Hunting of the Snark.

“Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
The five unmistakable marks
By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
The warranted genuine Snarks.

"Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp:
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
With a flavour of Will-o'-the-wisp.

"Its habit of getting up late you'll agree
That it carries too far, when I say
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
And dines on the following day.

"The third is its slowness in taking a jest.
Should you happen to venture on one,
It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed:
And it always looks grave at a pun.

"The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines,
Which it constantly carries about,
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes—
A sentiment open to doubt.

"The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
To describe each particular batch:
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
From those that have whiskers, and scratch.”
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Lewis Carroll, The hunting of the snark : an agony, in eight fits (London, Macmillan and Co., 1876): PML 61808.

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About the Morgan

The Morgan Library & Museum began as the personal library of financier, collector, and cultural benefactor Pierpont Morgan. Today it is a museum, independent research library, music venue, architectural landmark, and historic site located in the heart of New York City.

A century after its founding, the Morgan remains committed to offering visitors close encounters with great works of human accomplishment in a setting treasured for its intimate scale. Its collection of manuscripts, rare books, music, drawings, and works of art comprise a unique and dynamic record of civilization, as well as an incomparable repository of ideas and of the creative process from 4000 BC to the present.


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Happy Birthday to ! We are honoring one of her lesser-known projects, “Fire!!: Devoted to Younger Negro Artists,” an African-American literary magazine published in New York City in 1926 during the Harlem Renaissance.

The publication was started by Hurston along with her friends and colleagues including Wallace Thurman, Aaron Douglas, John P. Davis, Richard Bruce Nugent, Gwendolyn Bennett, Lewis Grandison Alexander, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes. After it published one issue, its quarters burned down, and the magazine ended.

Our Astor Curator of Printed Books, Jesse Erickson, has said of this unique object, “This magazine...has since been recognized as a key example of the bold, pioneering energy of the Harlem Renaissance. Featuring literary and artistic contributions from a select group of the community's more daring creators, it contains interesting examples of how the moderness of its stories and illustrations was in part inspired by an embrace of literary decadence and an earlier generation of aesthetes."


Fire!! a quarterly devoted to the younger Negro artists / premier edition edited by Wallace Thurman in association with Langston Hughes [and others]. New York : [publisher not identified], 1926. The Carter Burden Collection of American Literature.

Novelist Seanan Forbes recently had the chance to take a close look at these tarot cards (Death, The Hanged Man, and The Juggler) in the Reading Room for their forthcoming q***r young-adult prequel to Romeo and Juliet. In Forbes’ novel – which explores adolescence, gender and s*xuality, book-making and collecting, and espionage – tarot cards serve as a method of communication among spies.

The tarot deck was created in 15th-century Italy as a card game to be enjoyed by the aristocracy – it was not until centuries later that it became associated with divination and the occult. The tarot cards at the Morgan were probably created by Bonifacio Bembo for the Visconti-Sforza family, and constitute one of the most complete surviving decks from the 15th century.

Learn more about these cards and check out our digital facsimile at the link in our bio!
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Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards (Milan, Italy, ca. 1450-1480); ​​MS M.630.12 (Death), M.630.11 (The Hanged Man), M.630.1 (The Juggler).

Last chance to dive into the professional correspondence of our first director, Belle da Costa Greene! “Belle da Costa Greene and the Women of the Morgan” closes this Sunday, January 8th.

Belle da Costa Greene (1879–1950) began working as J. Pierpont Morgan’s librarian in 1905. After Morgan’s death in 1913, Greene maintained a similar role as the institution’s first director, opening the private treasure-house to the public in 1924. Her professional correspondence, catalogued only recently, offers new insight into how Greene maneuvered in a world of books and manuscripts dominated by men. It also reveals the stories of other women who worked with Greene at the Morgan Library, including Meta Harrsen, Marguerite Duprez Lahey, Dorothy Miner, Violet Napier (née Burnie), and Ada Thurston.

The letters and objects on display document the experiences of these women, who were among the small but growing number of female rare-book librarians worldwide. Greene and the women she hired were respected and widely regarded as experts in their field. Above all, these women of the Morgan were ambitious, committed to the value of their work, and well attuned to their boss’s high expectations. As the exhibition shows, however, Greene was not only a director but also a mentor and friend. Her story and legacy will be the subject of a major exhibition in 2024 to mark the Morgan’s centenary as a public institution.

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Clarence H. White (1871–1925)
Belle da Costa Greene, 1911
Biblioteca Berenson, I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies

Most likely representing a high priestess, this statuette calls forth a line from “The Exaltation of Inanna” by Enheduanna: “Me, who once sat triumphant.” The image also resonates with that of Enheduanna on her votive disk. The woman’s transfixed gaze expresses deep reflection and her hands are firmly clasped in devotion. In her lap is a small tablet. Three incisions on its surface represent the columnar division of clay tablets, an overt reference to cuneiform writing. The tablet and divisions bear witness to the dedicator’s well-educated status and engagement with writing, perhaps as an author. As a votive, the statue’s offering is a written text.

"She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400-2000 B.C." is now on view through February 5, 2023.

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Seated female figure with tablet on lap Mesopotamia, Neo-Sumerian Ur III period (ca. 2112–2004 BC). © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin-Vorderasiatisches Museum. Photo by Olaf M. Teßmer.

In 2014, Bryan proposed an idea to his editor: a book of collages illustrating poems by Langston Hughes about the sea. Bryan noted that, living by the sea as he had for many years, he often referred to Hughes’s poems on the subject. He later stated that he chose poems he “felt a child would have no trouble immersing him- or herself in.” Bryan made collages for each of the fifteen poems in Sail Away.

Langston Hughes wrote “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” at the age of eighteen and it was one of his earliest published works, appearing in The Crisis in June 1921. It has become a foundational poem—memorized, recited, studied, sung, illustrated, and read over and over again. Translated into many languages, it is part of the lives of people worldwide.

You can see these puppets and more in our current exhibition "Ashley Bryan & Langston Hughes: Sail Away" on view through January 22.

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Ashley Bryan, The Negro Speaks of Rivers (from Sail Away) 2015, recto, 2021.25:17. The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of the Ashley Bryan Center, 2021.25:17r. Photography by Janny Chiu, 2022. © 2015 The Ashley Bryan Center. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

Calling all storybook lovers! ? Every first Saturday of the month, we invite families to leap off the page with our newest family program geared towards younger readers! Family First Saturdays include a family tour of the exhibitions “Ashley Bryan & Langston Hughes: Sail Away” and “The Little Prince: Taking Flight” followed by a live picture book storytime.

This event is recommended for families and children ages 4–8 and is free with museum admission. The Morgan is free to children 12 and under.

Join our next Family First Saturday on Saturday, January 7 at 11 AM.
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Illustration by Tanu Vasu

Happy New Year from the Morgan! 2022 brought a stellar lineup of exhibitions stretching across the globe and thousands of years back in time. We are so grateful for the completion of our stunning restoration and, of course, our visitors!

We hope to see even more of you in 2023!

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Exterior restoration photography by Brett Beyer, 2022
Installation view of "Holbein: Capturing Character" Photography by Janny Chiu, 2022.
Installation view of "One Hundred Years of James Joyce's Ulysses" Photography by Janny Chiu, 2022.
Installation view of "She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400–2000 B.C." Photography by Janny Chiu, 2022.

This drawing relates to two paintings of the same title, inspired by the sight of young women riding their bicycles in Olmo, a hamlet outside of Florence. Although Georg Baselitz does not usually make sketches for his paintings, in this instance he recalled, “When I first made the corresponding painting, I didn’t know what a bicycle and a girl with peddling legs looked like. I then made a kind of sketch with what was lying around in the studio—large pieces of paper and oil paint.” This explains the paint drops and shoe imprints on the sheet—a picturesque evocation of the studio.

“Georg Baselitz: Six Decades of Drawings” is now on view at the Morgan.
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The Girls from Olmo, (Die Mädchen von Olmo), 1981
The ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna – Gift of the Georg and Elke Baselitz Family. © 2022 Georg Baselitz. Photography by Jochen Littkemenn.

Before departing, the prince tells the pilot, “In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing.” The pilot, who fixes his plane and gets home, remembers these words and shares, “At night I love to listen to the stars.”

This drawing, once crumpled up and nearly discarded, shows the little prince flying high above the Earth. It offers another view of the desert, “the loveliest and saddest landscape in the world,” which the pilot renders in the book’s final illustration: “It is here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and disappeared.”

“The Little Prince: Taking Flight” is on view through February 5, 2023.
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Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944)
The little prince flying over a planet with mountains and a river, New York, 1942. The Morgan Library & Museum, MA 2592.34. Photography by Graham S. Haber.

On the right of this seal impression, we can see a ritual taking place in front of a temple entrance. Two female worshippers approach a deity wearing a horned crown, whose seat is supported by a pair of bison. In front of the deity is a rearing ram carrying a small offering table. The worshipper closest to the offering table holds a spouted vessel for libation. The second worshipper, who is taller and slightly elevated, watches from behind; her long, loose hair is held back by a circlet reminiscent of Enheduanna’s headdress. Although the identity of the figures is unknown, this well-preserved seal bears testament to prominent women’s role in the ritual presentation of temple offerings.

“She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400-2000 B.C.” is now on view at the Morgan.
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Cylinder seal (and modern impression) with two female figures presenting offerings Mesopotamia, Sumerian, possibly Umma (modern Tell Jokha) Early Dynastic IIIa period, ca. 2500 BC. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin-Vorderasiatisches Museum. Photography by Olaf M. Teßmer.

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