New York, NY, July 21, 2014— According to a June 2014 review in The New York Times, “Nearly every Morgan exhibition, whether of prints, drawings, rare books or musical scores, enlarges the understanding of paper as a means of expression, both personal and cultural.” The variety and depth of the Fall and Winter 2014-15 exhibition season underscores this statement.
Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil
September 26, 2014 through January 25, 2015
This exhibition showcases Cy Twombly's monumental painting Treatise on the Veil (Second Version), executed in Rome in 1970, and twelve related drawings, all from the Menil Collection in Houston. Not shown in New York City for nearly thirty years, and rarely on display at the Menil due to its size (nearly 33 feet in length), the painting marks a pivotal moment in the career of one of the most important artists to emerge in the wake of Abstract Expressionism. Inspired by a musical piece by Pierre Henry, a composition known as The Veil of Orpheus, Twombly’s Treatise on the Veil is a meditation on time and space. The drawings, which combine pencil, crayon, collage, tape, measurements, and other inscriptions offer a fascinating window into the artist's creative process.
Twombly (1928--2011) was born in Lexington, Virginia. He studied at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, New York's Art Students League, and at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, under Abstract Expressionists Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline. Early travels to Europe and North Africa nourished his interest in ancient art and mythology. In 1957, Twombly moved to Rome, where he lived most of his life. References to antiquity and the Renaissance abound in his art, which is characterized by a rich repertoire of marks, scrawls, scribbles, doodles, and scratches— at once expressive of a gestural approach and of cultural symbols. The two paintings entitled Treatise on the Veil (the first version, of 1968, is in the Ludwig Museum in Cologne) are highlights of Twombly's "grey-ground" period which spanned from 1966 to the early 1970s, in which thin white lines running across a grey background convey an increasingly lyrical feel.
The Crusader Bible: A Gothic Masterpiece
October 17, 2014 through January 5, 2015
The spectacular Crusader Bible is one of the greatest illuminated manuscripts in the world, renowned as much for its unrivalled and boldly colored illustrations as it is for its fascinating history. The work brings Old Testament stories alive in bright images replete with medieval castles, towns, and battling knights in armor, all set in thirteenth-century France. The work is currently disbound and visitors will have the opportunity to view over forty of its miniatures, the creative output of six anonymous artists who were some of the great talents of their day. Visitors will also learn about the manuscript's incredible journey from France to Italy, Poland, Persia, Egypt, England, and finally, New York.
The picture book was likely made in Paris about 1250, and has long been associated with the court of Louis IX, the pious crusader king of France and builder of the Sainte-Chapelle. It originally had no text, but along the way inscriptions were added in Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian, indicative of changing owners. The illuminations represent one of the greatest visualizations of Old Testament events ever made. Some of the stories are familiar, but others, more rarely depicted, are surprising.
This exhibition is made possible by the Janine Luke and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Exhibitions and Publications; the Sherman Fairchild Fund for Exhibitions; James H. Marrow and Emily Rose; and the H. P. Kraus Fund.
The Untamed Landscape: Théodore Rousseau and the Path to Barbizon
September 26, 2014 through January 18, 2015
With Camille Corot and Jean-François Millet, Théodore Rousseau (1812-67) ranks as one of the preeminent masters of the Barbizon School, a group of nineteenth-century French artists whose preferred subject was the primeval wooded landscape of the Forest of Fontainebleau. The Barbizon School painters were greatly influenced by the Romantic movement, producing works inspired by the powerful forces of nature. Surprisingly, despite his pivotal role in French art and his profound impact on the development of landscape painting, Rousseau has never before been the subject of a monographic exhibition.
Comprising seventy works from private and public collections, including those of the Morgan Library & Museum, this exhibition will consider the artist’s wide-ranging achievements as a draftsman and his particular approach to the open-air oil sketch. It will trace Rousseau’s path to Barbizon—from his early oil sketches in the Ile-de-France to his mature works in the Auvergne, Normandy, and Fontainebleau forest—assessing the impact of the Dutch masters on the artist’s landscape imagery. Rousseau’s works—some bucolic and evocative of a simpler, pre-industrial age, others brooding, moody, and redolent with lingering vestiges of Romanticism or testaments to the haunting majesty of the natural world—are both appealing and instructive. Collectively, this selection chronicles Rousseau’s artistic practice and highlights his contribution to the shifting conception of landscape in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. The show will explore the range of techniques and handling of media, and the sense of poetic melancholy that permeates Rousseau’s art. A fully illustrated, scholarly catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Karen B. Cohen, with additional support from the Estate of Alex Gordon and Mr. and Mrs. Clement C. Moore II. The catalogue is underwritten by the Franklin Jasper Walls Lecture Fund.
From Here to Here: Richard McGuire Makes a Book
September 25 through November 9, 2014
In 1989 a black-and-white comic by Richard McGuire, modestly titled “Here,” appeared in Raw magazine. It was quickly recognized as a game-changing achievement in graphic narrative. To mark the Fall 2014 publication of Here as an all-new, full-color graphic novel and e-book, this exhibition explores the (re)invention of a contemporary classic.
Though the viewpoint in Here remains fixed on one corner of a living room, time in the story is boundless and elastic. Populating the space with multiple frames of action, dating from the ancient past to the distant future, McGuire conjures narratives, dialogues, and streams of association that unite moments divided by years and centuries. The exhibition combines original drawings for the strip and the novel with source photographs, books that influenced the form and content of McGuire’s invention, and collages and sketchbooks that afford glimpses into his creative process.
Richard McGuire (b. 1957) is a creator of children’s books, music (as a founding member of the band Liquid Liquid), toys, and animated films. He is a contributor to The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and The New York Times, among other publications.
This exhibition is a collaboration between the Morgan Library & Museum and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. It is made possible through the support of the J. W. Kieckhefer Foundation.
Handmade: Artists' Holiday Cards from the Archives of American Art
November 21, 2014 through January 5, 2015
This holiday season the Morgan presents an exhibition of highly original, graphically intriguing, and rarely seen handmade holiday cards created by major modern and contemporary artists for friends and family. Drawn from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, the world’s pre-eminent repository dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America, the lively array of works on view will include nearly sixty seasonal cards created for friends and family made by such important American artists as Helen Frankenthaler, Milton Avery, Alexander Calder, Ad Reinhardt, and Saul Steinberg.
This exhibition is made possible by a gift in honor of Kook Dong Pae and Chan Eai Pae.
Lincoln Speaks: Words that Transformed a Nation
January 23 through June 7, 2015
This exhibition focuses on Abraham Lincoln's mastery of language and how his words changed the course of history. Today, nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, he remains an exemplar of exalted leadership in a time of great crisis and people the world over continue to look to him as a standard-bearer for principled governance. Lincoln Speaks explores Lincoln as a writer and public speaker whose eloquence shaped the nation and the world, in his time and in ours.
Drawing upon the Gilder Lehrman Institute's renowned collection of American historical documents, as well as the Shapell Foundation, Harvard College Library, the Library of Congress, and the Morgan's collection of Lincoln manuscripts and letters, the exhibition is organized thematically and chronologically. It includes photographic portraits and books owned and used by Lincoln, and highlights the range of Lincoln's rhetorical powers, from the elevated language of his proclamations and great speeches to his forceful, incisive military memos and the intimate prose of personal letters to family and friends. Lincoln drew upon his powers as a writer and orator to sustain the country during its greatest crisis and to inspire Americans to embrace the ultimate purpose of the Civil War: the end of slavery. The show coincides with the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination, and assesses the scale of Lincoln's achievement, and his national and global legacy, through the power of his words.
Hebrew Illumination in Our Time: The Art of Barbara Wolff
February 6 through June 7, 2015
Hebrew Illumination in Our Time: The Art of Barbara Wolff offers startling illuminations—recent gifts to the Morgan—created by this contemporary artist. The ten folios of “You Renew the Face of the Earth” illustrate passages from Hebrew Psalm 104, a celebration of all creation, with images illuminated in silver, gold, and platinum foils. In the seventeen bifolios comprising the Rose Haggadah, Wolff, while rooted in the tradition of illustrated Haggadot, presents a modern interpretation of the texts used at the Passover Seder.
The Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. Today, more than a century after its founding in 1906, the Morgan serves as a museum, independent research library, musical venue, architectural landmark, and historic site. In October 2010, the Morgan completed the first-ever restoration of its original McKim building, Pierpont Morgan’s private library, and the core of the institution. In tandem with the 2006 expansion project by architect Renzo Piano, the Morgan now provides visitors unprecedented access to its world-renowned collections of drawings, literary and historical manuscripts, musical scores, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, printed books, and ancient Near Eastern seals and tablets.
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016-3405
Just a short walk from Grand Central and Penn Station
Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; extended Friday hours, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The Morgan closes at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
$18 for adults; $12 for students, seniors (65 and over), and children (under 16); free to Members and children 12 and under accompanied by an adult. Admission is free on Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is not required to visit the Morgan Shop, Café, or Dining Room.
The programs of the Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.