Inaugural Exhibition to Celebrate Major Interior Restoration

The Morgan Library & Museum

poster for Inaugural Exhibition to Celebrate Major Interior Restoration

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On October 30, The Morgan Library & Museum's landmark McKim building will reopen to the public following the completion of the most extensive restoration of its interior spaces since its construction more than one hundred years ago. The building, designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White, was once the private study and library of financier Pierpont Morgan. The Italianate marble villa, designed in the spirit of the High Renaissance, is considered one of New York's great architectural treasures, and its interiors are regarded as some of the most beautiful in America. The $4.5 million restoration revitalizes the historic center of the Morgan, in many ways completing the institution's dynamic transformation that began in 2006 with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano's successful expansion and renovation of the campus.

The project provides enhanced exhibition space for the institution and enables the Morgan to share with the public more treasures from its world-renowned permanent collection. The inaugural installation demonstrates the extraordinary quality and scope of Pierpont Morgan's interests as a collector and cultural steward. Nearly 300 objects dating from 3500 BC to the twentieth century will be displayed throughout the building's majestic rooms in a series of rotating exhibitions. Previously, only about thirty objects were regularly on view in the McKim.

The Morgan will celebrate the restoration project with a series of special activities, culminating with the October 30 public opening. Beginning with a media preview on October 21, the week-long festivities will include a special gala for Morgan patrons and a members' open house. The public opening will include performances by student musicians from the Mannes College The New School of Music, and the New-Trad Octet, as well as a special lecture by Morgan director William M. Griswold and docent-led tours of the McKim building throughout the day. Special screenings of the film, "All the Beautiful Things in the World: An Introduction to the Morgan," also will be presented that day.

"The reopening of the McKim building is a special moment in the history of the institution," said Morgan Director William M. Griswold, who is guiding the first major capital project since he assumed his position in 2008. "The building is the heart and soul of The Morgan Library & Museum. Not only does it embody the taste and vision of the museum's founder and patron, Pierpont Morgan, but over the years its beautiful rooms have become synonymous with all that makes the Morgan special. No visit to the museum is complete without a tour of the McKim building, and now, with this ambitious project and the installation of some of the Morgan's outstanding treasures, that experience will be greatly enhanced."

[Image: "Mr. Morgan's Library (East Room). Before restoration. The Morgan Library & Museum." (2010) Photography by Graham Haber]


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