Despite living within spitting distance of a dozen world-class museums, I haven’t stepped foot inside any of them in a long, long time. Problem is, once you live here for a while you tend to, well, live here. There are errands to run and clothes to wash and the little thing my friend V likes to call The Grind. This week, I decided to visit one of the perhaps lesser known museums in New York City: the Morgan Library.
The museum began as financier Pierpont Morgan’s personal library. He had this building constructed between 1902-06 in one of Manhattan’s toniest spots. Just to be clear, Morgan spent millions of (today’s) dollars using the finest of materials from around the world–to house his books. Just to be crystal clear, my apartment would fit comfortably inside the east wing.
The inside is even more opulent. If Mr. Morgan entered through this portico, he would have been greeted by this inlaid marble and gold rotunda.
To the left of the foyer was Mr. Morgan’s study. (Sorry for the grainy photo. (It was quite dark inside with all the red damask lining the walls.) I could spend days in there and not see all the objects on display.
Mr. Morgan was an avid collector of literature, historical documents and art in nearly every medium,. This was one of his favorite works.
All of it was lovely, but not the reason I went to the Morgan Library. Book nerds, hold onto your keyboards.
Three stories of books! This is my idea of utopia. Many of these volumes are first or rare editions, like the Darwin book below. There are two hidden staircases behind the walls to get to the upper shelves.
In addition to the books and artwork, Mr. Morgan also collected rare documents.
Anyone who has been around this blog for a while knows that seeing the document below brought me such joy.
One last document. We go from the sublime…
to the creepy…
Side note: I’m happy to say that one of my short stories, “Secrets of a Seamstress,” was selected in the Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. The story appears in a new anthology, available on Kindle.
Have you been to a museum lately? Any cool or creepy findings?
Have a great weekend everyone!