Library Your Way Around Town

| October 20, 2011

I celebrated National Museum Day (Sept. 24) at the Morgan Museum and Library (224 Madison Avenue, Manhattan). I would highly recommend a visit:

  • Happy Birthday, Dickens! In honor of his 200th birthday, the Morgan has a special exhibition that includes original manuscripts, illustrations, and personal letters, as well as films and lectures throughout the upcoming months. To get a feel for the magnitude of Dickens’ fame in the mid-19th century is completely astounding.
  • Another current exhibition is David, Delacroix, and Revolutionary France: Drawings from the Louvre. The studies that are included in this exhibition are quite incredible, from a detailed battle of over a dozen men, each with realistically unique facial features, to architectural studies, some even demonstrating the challenges experienced by the artist. Apparently it’s pretty rare that the Louvre lets a collection this large and impressive travel around, so definitely a neat thing to go see.
  • Unfortunately, Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art has since closed, but still a very interesting concept for a collection, and therefore worth mentioning. My favorites included a list for self-improvement from an artist when he was in primary school and a list from an artist to his wife citing the reasons he loved her, including an ungrammatical last bullet that he parenthesized he knew was ungrammatical.
  • There is also plenty to see in the ongoing collections, housed in Morgan’s recently restored East Room (library), Rotunda, West Room (study), and North Room. These rooms include a Gutenberg Bible, a composition written by Mozart at the age of five, an early collection of poems written by Sylvia Plath, a life mask of George Washington, and Ancient Near Eastern Seals and Tablets. The rooms are as enjoyable to see as the collections.

The Morgan is not on our CU list of free museums, however, they do have free admission on Fridays from 7:00-9:00 PM.