The Morgan Library and Museum

Morgan Library & Museum, NYC

The Morgan Library and Museum is one of the more overlooked museums in New York City. I checked it and yes, there are a lot of reasons why the visit is worth it.

The museum and independent research library began as the personal library of financier, collector, and cultural benefactor Pierpont Morgan.

Morgan begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints as early as 1890.

Pierpont Morgan, portrait in The Morgan Library & Museum, NYC

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. Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White designed this wonderful Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms. It is considered his lifetime masterpiece.

In 1924, eleven years after Pierpont Morgan’s death, his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867–1943) fulfilled his father’s dream. He made the library and its remarkable treasures available to scholars and the public alike by transforming it into a public institution. 

Today, the Morgan offers next to the library several interesting exhibitions. These are completed by a a wide variety of musical performances, lectures, readings, films, family programs, and tours.

I was there on a Friday, relaxed in the cafe with live jazz music, enjoyed the current exhibitions and the awesome library. I was stunned by the breathtaking inventory of first edition books and by the architecture.

The facts

The Library & Museum is located east of 5th Avenue at 225 Madison (at 36th Street), You should buy timed tickets in advance and you can easily plan your visit online.

My personal tip: There is a ‘Free Friday’ program that take place from 5 to 7 pm every Friday. You must reserve your tickets in advance. The admission to the beautiful historic rooms of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library is free on Tuesday and Sunday from 3 to 5 pm. Reservation for this free hours are not required. You can walk the neighborhood and spontaneously decide to visit this cultural gem.

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