Friday, October 10, 2014

NYC ~ Fantastical Colors and Light at The Morgan Library

The wise man bridges the gap,
by laying out the path by means of which he can get 
from where he is to where he wants to go.
~J.P. Morgan

On this last trip to NYC (last week of August) I really wanted to do some things that I haven't done for awhile, in the city. There is so much to do, and never enough time.

I decided, on this trip, to go back to the Morgan Library and Museum, which I thought I'd been to. (Now, I think I was mixing it up with The Frick.) Anyway, I had gone online and seen some beautiful photos of the "new" part of the Morgan, and knew I wanted to add this place to my itinerary. 

The Morgan Library and Museum

At first I didn't realize that all the colors were gels and not part of the architectural expansion done in 2006! (By Renzo Piano) Fabulous job, by the way.

The light coming through the windows, was spectacular and quite magical! The security gal was telling me how it changes with the seasons and time of day, and that the installation (by artist Spencer Finch) would be taken down in January! Ugh! Leave it up!

Seriously, if you are going to New York before January 11, 2015, you should add this to your sightseeing itinerary! 

You will see why I picked this Mozart piece, later in the post. ;) Please press play.

A Certain Slant of Light: 
Spencer Finch at the Morgan
June 20, 2014 - January 11,2015

from the website
"American artist Spencer Finch (b. 1962) will unveil a new, site-specific, large-scale installation at the Morgan inspired by its great collection of medieval Books of Hours—beautiful, hand-painted works that served as personal prayer books for different times of the day and different periods of the year. Taking advantage of the Morgan's four-story, glass-enclosed Gilbert Court, Finch will apply films of color to the windows and hang additional glass panes in the center of the Court to create a kind of calendar based on the movement of the sun."

"Finch plans to cover or hang the panes of glass in groupings by month with each having a palette that corresponds to the time of the year. For example, November would be "harvesting" and the colors of the month will be based on the colors of the harvest. ... At the same time, his installations emphasize movement and change, capturing fleeting moments of sublime beauty."

The hanging glass squares pick up and reflect the colors. It's so lovely! There is something so magical and beautiful about art that changes and moves, and uses the light, in such a wonderful way. It has a radiance, a life, lightness and energy ... I loved it!

The Morgan Café

Go as far as you can see;
when you get there, 
you'll be able to see farther.
~J.P. Morgan

I just couldn't get over it. It was hard to edit these down and not show every single picture! It made me want a glass house that I could put colored gels in! Really, I wanted to live in it!

Anyway, this was all in the foyer/expansion and new entrance area, including the little café, but I figured I should actually see some art and the old part of the library and study.

McKim Building
built 1902-1906

Apparently, in 2010, they started the biggest restoration that they'd ever had of the interior spaces, since it was built over a hundred years ago. It was build by the firm of McKim, Mead and White, and was the private study and library of Pierpont Morgan. I guess it reopened last October! Nice timing, right?

The whole place, including expansions, covers half a city block ... a New York city block.

The Study

Well, I don't know as I want a lawyer 
to tell me what I cannot do.
I hire him to tell 
how to do what I want to do.
J.P. Morgan

Virgin and Child with SS. Dominic and Barbara
Francesco Francia (Italian ca. 1450-1517)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1907

Madonna and Saints Adoring the Christ Child
Pietro Vannucci, called Perugino  1450-1523
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan in 1911

Virgin and Child with Four Saints and a Donor, ca. 1500
Atrributed to Marco Bello, after Giovanni Bellini
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910

The Rotunda

Jean-Antoine Houdon's plaster Life Mask of George Washington, 1785
Done by applying a layer of grease then plaster to the general's face. 
Houdon used this cast as a study for a full sized marble portrait.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide
that you are not going to stay where you are.
~J.P. Morgan

The Library

A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing.
One that sounds goo,
and a real one.
~J.P. Morgan

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, 1773
(did you press play above?)


Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Thou vast rondure, swimming in space
(written and first published as the 6th stanza 
for poem "Passage to India")
Manuscript, signed and dated 1868

Below, one of 3 Guttenberg Bibles at the Morgan
(The other two are in the vault under the Library)

If you have to ask how much it cost,
you can't afford it.
~J.P. Morgan

The North Room

Running Eros, Holding a Torch
Italy, Boscoreale, 2nd or 1st century B.C.
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1902, it was said
that was one of Morgan's favorite works of art.

This piece was dug up from the ruins of a Roman Villa 
in Boscoreale, buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, 
that also destroyed Herculaneum and Pompeii.

These pieces of gold jewelry with red garnets, below, are are from around 50 to 300 A.D., 
in the areas of the Middle East and Eastern Black Sea. 
Beautiful, right?

I headed upstairs for a special exhibition and this is the view looking down on the Cafe.

It was a great little show of beautiful little landscapes in watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, pencil and various mixes of any and all of those mediums. Very inspiring. Here is the write-up on the website. Sorry, I couldn't take photos.

The Morgan Dining Room
Don't you want to eat here??

To read more about the Library, Study and the huge collection of art books and manuscripts click here.

For more about Pierpont Morgan as a collector, click here.

Morgan Library Website

Hours & Admission

The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street
New York, NY 10016  Tel: (212) 685-0008 
I was so happy to have made it to this place! It's not huge and overwhelming. Just right for a lovely afternoon. I think I was there 3 hours. I could have spent more time if I hadn't walked all morning and hadn't already eaten! Of course, I am someone who spends a lot of time looking at things and taking pictures!
That night, I met my nieces down in Soho for dinner. I'm so lucky they are both in New York! 

When you expect things to happen - strangely enough-
They do happen.
~J.P. Morgan

Happy October!!!
Blessings and light!


Rick Forrestal said...

Wonderful chronicles & glimpses into this great museum.

(I like your red feet!)

Happy Weekend.

Cristina said...

Meraviglioso reportage, presente e passato... il presente dai mille colori ottima idea di architetto e il passato con le sue leziosità e ricercatezza…mi piacciono entrambi anche se sono forse più attrata dal passato….le tue foto sono bellissime e immagino da fotografa che appena hai visto i vetri colorati sei stata molto impegnata a scattare mille foto…. complimenti, ciao Cri : )

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning Lucinda, beautiful Lucinda!

I have never seen this in person, but I know it would be a pleasant overload of wonder if I did see it. It is astounding how an artist can put such a lofty vision into practice and make it real. I guess it's like writing....I had this overload of ideas last night, and the challenge is to put them to paper. Art is WORK, isn't it!

Thank you so much for your visit! Anita