Last weekend, I spend Saturday with my brilliant lady friend going to the Museum of Modern Art and the Morgan Library. I hadn’t been to MoMA in a number of years, and this visit was aimed at the new DaDa exhibit. I knew very little about DaDa going into the day, and while I know a bit more about the history of the movement now, the art itself is still utterly perplexing. It was worth seeing, as were Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon standing behind us in line. I did, however, enjoy going down one floor to the MoMA’s permanent exhibit of Picasso, Van Gogh, and Klimpt; MoMA still lays claim to Van Gogh’s masterpiece Starry Night.
The true highlight of the day for me, however, was the Morgan Library. The museum now includes the original house of Pierpont Morgan and the adjacent library he built to house his enormous private collection of books and manuscripts. After Pierpont’s death, his son J.P. Morgan donated the collection to the public and it became the museum it is today. The collection of old books is absolutely breathtaking, and among its many original works, it has autographed manuscripts of Alexander Pope, Jane Austen, and even Bob Dylan. There are original, handwritten scores by Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven, among many others, and the original Babar sketches.
The library and museum (housed in Pierpont’s old house) recently underwent a two-year renovation, and it is now a really gorgeous visit.