Exhibit | February 13, 2012

Thirty Rare Works at the Morgan Library

New York, NY, February 13, 2012—Beginning tomorrow, The Morgan Library & Museum will exhibit nearly thirty extraordinary works from its extensive collections of printed books, illuminated manuscripts, music, and literary and historical manuscripts. The diverse objects—which include a portion of The Scarlet Letter, fifteenth-century tarot cards, a first edition of William Faulkner's Light in August, and a John Cage manuscript—will be displayed in the Morgan's sumptuous McKim building. These works will remain on view through June 3, 2012.

On view is all that remains—a single sheet containing the title and table of contents—of the manuscript for Nathaniel Hawthorne's tale of a scandalous affair, The Scarlet Letter. Though Hawthorne's son accused publisher James T. Fields of destroying the rest of his father's manuscript, Hawthorne himself once told an inquirer, "I threw that in the fire...put it up in the chimney long ago." ????Before his presidency, Andrew Jackson faced censure by Congress for military actions during the First Seminole War. On display is Jackson's letter to Major William B. Lewis in which he relayed his "happy triumph over my enemies" after the effort was defeated. Known for his difficult personality, Jackson went on to write of his continued suspicions of Senator John Williams, "to whom has been traced all the hidden slander." Jackson's revenge was complete when he won Williams's Senate seat in 1823. ????Madame Roland was granted the rare privilege of writing materials while imprisoned during France's Reign of Terror. On view is her letter to Jacques-Bernand-Marie Montané, one of the many famous letters Roland penned in her delicate hand, then gave to a visitor to smuggle out. Less than two months after writing the letter Madame Roland stood on the guillotine platform in the Place de la Révolution where, observing a statue extolling Liberty, she exclaimed, "Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name!"

Early in his career, John Cage composed pieces for percussion ensemble. On one occasion, Cage was asked to provide music for a dance performance, but found the venue too small to accommodate his musicians. In an ingenious moment of improvisation, he placed bolts, screws, and other objects between the strings of a grand piano, thus providing the percussive sounds usually supplied by the ensemble, and creating what came to be known as a prepared piano. The experiment was a success, and Cage went on to compose several pieces for prepared piano. Visitors will see one such composition—Dance no. 1 from Three Dances—along with the accompanying table of instructions for preparing the second piano. ????Faced with intense and continuous pain in his right wrist, Henry James began to dictate his words in 1897, introducing new prose rhythms into his work. On view is the typescript of two chapters of the novel What Maisie Knew (almost all that survives of James's working draft). The typescript provides insights into James's construction and revision of his narrative, which forgoes conventional, plot-driven storytelling and instead provides readers with an impressionistic view of ten-year-old Maisie's subjectivity. ??????

When not making midnight rides, Paul Revere spent his days as a silversmith and, to earn extra money, as a copper engraver. In 1764 patriot, jeweler, musician, and Handel enthusiast Josiah Flagg commissioned Revere to print Flagg's compilation of tunes. The first bound printing on view is opened to reveal what is thought to be the first publication of Handel's music in America. ????Within the span of only three years, William Faulkner published Sartoris, The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, and Light in August. Among these American classics of southern writing, only the pulp novel, Sanctuary, was a financial success. At the moment when Faulkner should have been earning substantial royalties, however, his publishers went into receivership. Unable to collect his money, he followed in the footsteps of many great Depression-era writers and made his way to Hollywood. In the months leading up to the publication of Light in August Faulkner served his first stint as a studio writer, continuing to work off and on in this capacity for the next two decades. The Morgan's copy of the first edition of this novel is a remnant of this western trajectory, having been inscribed by the author to Max Wilk, a fellow contract writer at Warner Brothers. ??????

LOVE AND MARRIAGE ????Edmund Spenser staked his claim as England's heir to Chaucer in 1579 when he published his pastoral poetry sequence, The Shepheardes Calender. Considered by many to be the first great non-dramatic work of the Elizabethan era, the first edition of the Shepheardes Calender is also one of the rarest, surviving in only a few institutions worldwide. The Morgan's copy on view will display the eclogue for April, in which Spenser refers to Queen Elizabeth I as the "fayre Elisa." While the work praises the Queen, Spenser also indirectly denounces her proposed marriage with the French Catholic duc d'Anjou. Clothed in archaic diction and with tropes of lovelorn shepherds, Spenser's couched condemnation may have saved him from the fate of other contemporary critics whose hands were cut off for voicing the same sentiment. ????Tarot cards originated in Milan or Ferrara around 1425-50. Though used as fortune-telling tools today, there is no evidence that tarot cards were originally made for this purpose. Cards from the fifteenth century, like those displayed, are extremely rare and no complete seventy-eight-card deck survives. The cards—which represent the Chariot, Time, the Queen of Swords, and the King of Staves—were likely made for Bianca Marie Visconti and Francesco Sforza whose 1441 marriage united the two families and whose emblems and devices are intermingled on some cards. ??????

Quotidian and art object in one, a receipt by Pablo Picasso includes a quick sketch of his Woman Seated in an Armchair. The artist often executed such sketches as aides-memoire upon the sale of his work. Picasso sold this painting to art dealer Paul Rosenberg for 15,000 francs, also noted on the receipt.????On April 13, 1714 eight members of the Mohawk tribe struck a real estate deal with Dutch settler Adam Vrooman. The related deed on view, which bears the marks and seals of the Native Americans, transferred 340 acres "of the Land Called Schoree" (present-day Schoharie County, New York), from the Mohawk tribe to Vrooman. This is believed to be the earliest surviving deed to property in Schoharie County.??????

Naughty children who play with matches, mistreat animals, or neglect their grooming may meet with painful, violent ends. Consider the fate of Struwwelpeter (Slovenly Peter or Shock-Headed Peter), who is one of the memorable characters in Heinrich Hoffmann's 1845 collection of cautionary stories written in verse. Although the book was first published with a different title, Hoffmann's depiction of the long-nailed, wild-haired Peter resonated with thousands of young readers, and the work eventually became known by that name alone. With comic and grotesque imagery that anticipates Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands, this instant classic of German children's literature has remained in print to this day. The first edition on view is one of the few surviving copies that show how the author originally envisaged his work. ????Scribe and illuminator Maius made his Beatus manuscript—picture cycles and commentary on the Apocalypse—so that the "wise may fear the coming of the future judgment of the world's end." Dating to around 945, the pages on view show the burning of Babylon, along with mourning kings and merchants who, having indulged in its excesses, watch its destruction.??????

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 from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

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.????Admission??$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.