1993 · NY
NY: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1993. Special edition for friends of JP Morgan apparently. Hardcover. VG/VG. Black cloth with gilt embossed design, in a green cloth slipcase with color pastedown /yellow DJ. 310 pp. Numerous bw & color plates. The Pierpont Morgan Library, once the private treasure house of American financier and collector J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), is a major repository of artistic, literary, and historical materials dating from ancient times to the modern era. There are objects of breathtaking beauty and visual splendor, such as the jeweled covers of the magnificent Lindau Gospels, the lavishly illuminated Farnese Hours, and master drawings from Durer to Degas. Such works as the Gutenberg Bible and the first printing of the Declaration of Independence document turning points in the course of Western civilization. Still other works stand as unique records of the world's great creative geniuses, for example the sole surviving manuscript fragment of Milton's Paradise Lost and the original score of Mozart's majestic Haffner Symphony. In the words of Mark Twain, it is, indeed, an "august company." This book, written for the general reader and scholar alike, reproduces and discusses over 175 of the finest objects from the Library's richly diverse collections. An introductory section provides an account of the origins of the Library, when Pierpont Morgan - avowing that "no price is too high for an object of unquestioned beauty and known authenticity"--Set out to form a collection of books, manuscripts, and drawings to rival those of the great aristocratic libraries of Europe. The elegant marble library he built in New York to house these collections, regarded as one of architect Charles F. McKim's finest achievements, is illustrated and discussed in detail as well. The chapters devoted to the principal collections of the Library - drawings and prints, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, printed books, fine bindings, literary and historical autographs, music manuscripts, Gilbert and Sullivan materials, ancient Near Eastern seals and tablets, and paintings and art objects - are preceded by brief essays outlining the formation, content and scope of the Library's holdings in these fields. All of the major works that are discussed have detailed descriptions and are reproduced, many in color. The works you will find in this volume - often masterpieces of their kind - have been selected not only for their special qualities and importance but for the degree to which they represent the strengths and collecting interests of the Morgan Library today. Contents as follows: Foreword / John Russell -- I. Paintings and Art Objects -- II. Ancient Near Eastern Seals and Tablets -- III. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts -- IV. Printed Books -- V. Children's Books -- VI. Bindings -- VII. Autograph Manuscripts -- VIII. Music Manuscripts -- IX. Gilbert and Sullivan Collection -- X. Drawings and Prints. A beautiful book.
(Inventory #: 171124)