eWalk-through: Morgan Library
Baronial appointments from a long-ago era resonate as the original librarian’s office at the Morgan Library opens to the public for the first time.
Mark McMenamin -- Interior Design, 7/17/2007 12:00:00 AM
The Morgan Library & Museum has been a fixture on New York's Madison Avenue for generations, but never before has the public been invited to view the original librarian's office. All that changed on June 15, when the library opened the doors to the three-room suite for the first time since Charles F. McKim designed it in 1906.
Created for the institution's founder Pierpont Morgan, the Italianate-styled room is located at the north end of the entrance rotunda that separates Morgan's library from his study. Eventually the office was occupied by Belle de Costa Greene, Morgan's personal librarian and a leading figure in the international art world. While it continued to serve Morgan directors until the 1980s, it was always off-limits to the public at large.
The wait, it seems, was worth it. In addition to a number of original furnishings, the baronial office boasts a bronze candelabrum by Antoine-Louis Barye, and a bronze sculpture of John Ruskin by Gutzon Borglum. The bronze bust over the mantle, originally thought to be of Petrarch, was recently identified to be Boccacia, and was made after a marble bust by Giovanni Francesco Rustici. Paintings by James Wall Finn adorn the ceiling.
The Morgan Library & Museum is open seven days a week, with extended hours on Fridays. For more information, call 212-685-0008, or visit themorgan.org.