Educational Programs | June 26, 2011

The Morgan to Launch Drawing Institute

New York, New York--The Morgan Library & Museum, which holds one of the world's premier collections of drawings dating from the era of Michelangelo and Raphael to the modern period, announced today the creation of a new institute to support research in the drawings field and to nurture new generations of scholars and curators. Eugene V. Thaw, a Life Trustee of the Morgan and noted drawings collector, has donated $5 million to launch the initiative, which will begin operation in November and will be housed at the Morgan.

The new institute, to be called the Drawing Institute at The Morgan Library & Museum, will sponsor annual fellowships and host seminars, symposia, and lectures. Plans also call for it to mount small, focused exhibitions and to support a scholarly publications program. In addition, the institute will undertake joint initiatives with the IMAF (International Music and Art Foundation) Centre for Drawings at The Courtauld Gallery, centering on old master drawings, and with the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center in Houston, with its emphasis on modern and contemporary drawings. Linda Wolk-Simon, who was recently appointed to head the Morgan's drawings department, will oversee the venture.????

The Institute's approach will be innovative and broad, and will be devoted to the study of the history, collecting, function, interpretation, and theory of drawing with the goal of stimulating new lines of investigation and discourse. The fellowship program will include four fellows each year and will be open not only to scholars of art history but also to conservators and individuals from other disciplines among the humanities. Fellows will be required to spend part of the year at the Morgan carrying out research and lecturing on subjects related to their areas of investigation as well as participating in seminars and symposia. The seminars, open to professors, curators, artists, conservators, graduate students, and others in the field, will be organized in cooperation with other New York museums and university-based art history programs, and will emphasize the study of original works of art. Future Institute plans also call for awarding an annual prize for a groundbreaking publication or exhibition in the drawings field.

????"The Morgan is deeply grateful to Gene Thaw for his extraordinary generosity in supporting this visionary project," said Morgan director William M. Griswold. "His gifts over the years have greatly enriched our collections and transformed the institution. With this latest pledge, Gene has given us the exciting opportunity to develop a dedicated research platform for the study of drawing, allowing the Morgan to capitalize on its acclaimed holdings in this field by taking an important leadership role in current and future scholarship."????

The cooperative programming with the IMAF Centre for Drawings at The Courtauld Gallery and the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center will focus on the strength of the institutions' respective holdings, and will include co-sponsored fellowships and shared research projects as well as possible joint exhibitions. For example, work with the Menil will expressly focus on connections between the practice of drawing in the nineteenth century and earlier and that of the modern period. It is anticipated that the joint Morgan-Menil Fellow and Morgan-Courtauld Fellow will be in residence at the Drawing Institute in alternate years. ????

An Institute advisory board of individuals noted for their interest in drawing and scholarly contributions to the field has been formed. It includes philanthropist and collector Karen B. Cohen, also a Morgan Trustee; Elizabeth Cropper, dean of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery of Art, Washington; collector and museum patron Agnes Gund, Philippe de Montebello, former director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and now a professor at the Institute of Fine Arts; David Rosand, professor of Art History at Columbia University; Patricia Rubin, director of the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University; former Andrew W. Mellon Foundation executive Angelica Rudenstine; Perrin Stein, curator of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Robert Storr, dean of the Yale University School of Art. Mr. Thaw will serve as an honorary member of the advisory board.

Eugene Thaw's formal association with The Morgan Library & Museum began in 1968, when he was elected to the Association of Fellows. Since 1988, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees. Over the years, he has given some 400 drawings to the Morgan. These include a recent gift of fourteen sheets by such artists as Rembrandt and Picasso and of a group of twenty letters written and illustrated by Vincent van Gogh. In 1991, Mr. Thaw made possible the dedication of the Morgan's Clare Eddy Thaw Gallery, in honor of his wife, and with a generous gift in 1999 he transformed the Morgan's conservation lab into the world-class Thaw Conservation Center. In 2009, the Morgan presented the fifth in a series of exhibitions based on Mr. Thaw's collection, and Mr. Thaw announced the gift of his collection of oil sketches on paper jointly to the Morgan and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.????

He has written numerous articles on aspects of art and art criticism that have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Times of London, The New Criterion, The New Republic, and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications. ????

"Drawing as an expressive medium has always been thought of as bringing us closer to the artist's mind and the meaning of his work," Thaw remarked. "Since the Renaissance, it has been a subject of continual discussion among philosophers, artists, and art historians. I am grateful to be part of this effort to revive the conversation about the essence of drawing at a great institution like The Morgan Library & Museum and to help contribute to keeping the field vital in the years ahead." ????

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. ????

General Information??
The Morgan Library & Museum
??225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016-3405??
Hours??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.????
$15 for adults; $10 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.

The Morgan Library & Museum
Patrick Milliman