One hundred years ago, The Morgan Library & Museum was established with its expansive collection of historic books in a jaw-droppingly beautiful building. Over the last century, the museum developed into a beloved cultural institution showcasing rare books, drawings, photographs and important research.
In honor of this landmark anniversary, the museum announced a slate of programming including a free public celebration day, an exhibition on writer Beatrix Potter and a show featuring novelist Franz Kafka. Here's what to expect from the centennial celebrations.
- A public party: The museum will host a free day of celebration on Sunday, May 5, 2024. They'll open the garden for the season and offer to-be-announced programming.
- Free student Sundays: To encourage student visitation, the Morgan will offer free admission to college students on the first Sunday of every month beginning on January 7, 2024.
- Seen Together: Acquisitions in Photography, January 26-May 26, 2024: This show will feature more than 40 never-before-shown works acquired by the Morgan’s Department of Photography. See photos of prominent figures from many creative disciplines, including visual art (Yayoi Kusama, Marcel Duchamp, Saul Steinberg), literature (Marianne Moore, Jack Kerouac), performance (Yoko Ono, Harlem Renaissance dancer Edna Guy), and music (Louis Hardin, aka Moondog).
- Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature, February 23 through June 9, 2024: This exhibit brings together artwork, books, manuscripts and artifacts that trace how Potter's blend of scientific observation and imaginative storytelling shaped some of the world’s most popular children's books. Potter created animal characters like Peter Rabbit, Mr. Jeremy Fisher and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, all rooted in the natural world.
- Walton Ford: Birds and Beasts of the Studio, April 12 through October 6, 2024: See monumental watercolor paintings by American artist Walton Ford whose works are inspired by true or legendary stories of dramatic encounters between humankind and nature.
- Liberty to the Imagination: Drawings from the Eveillard Gift, June 7 through October 6, 2024: See 28 drawings from the Eveillard collection, including drawings dating back to the 1600s. The exhibit includes a rare compositional study for Rembrandt's first painting.
- Crafting the Ballets Russes: The Robert Owen Lehman Collection, June 28 through September 22, 2024: Beautiful music manuscripts have long inspired scholars and visitors to the Morgan. Featured pieces include Igor Stravinsky's Firebird (1910) and Claude Debussy’s L’après-midi d’un Faune (1912).
- Far and Away: Drawings from the Clement C. Moore Collection, June 28 through September 22, 2024: The exhibition constitutes one of the preeminent collections of Dutch drawings.
- Belle da Costa Greene: A Librarian's Legacy, October 25, 2024, through May 4, 2025: Explore the legacy of Belle da Costa Greene (1879–1950). The Morgan’s first director, she is one of the most prominent librarians in American history. American financier J. Pierpont Morgan hired her as his personal librarian in 1905. After Morgan’s death in 1913, Greene continued as the librarian of his son and heir, J. P. Morgan Jr., who transformed his father’s library into the public institution we know today.
- Franz Kafka, November 22, 2024 through April 13, 2025: See the original manuscript of Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis, along with manuscripts of his novels Amerika and The Castle. They'll be presented alongside correspondence, diaries and photographs related to Kafka.
Other centennial initiatives
Video series: The Morgan is developing a video series featuring contemporary visual artists, writers, designers, actors and historians sharing how works in the Morgan's collection have influenced their artistic practices.
Centennial Campaign: The Morgan will seek to raise $50 million to support the museum, focusing on its collections, its campus and its staff.