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the morgan library and museum

when rich people hoard, it's called "collecting".

j.p. morgan was a financier, an entrepreneur, a millionaire, and a hoarder. mostly of priceless books, art, and gems. thank god he had the budget to build a library worthy of it's contents. the morgan library and museum is one of the sweetest spots in nyc, and on friday nights it's free!

the library is connected to j.p. morgan jr's brownstone on madison ave by a large glass atrium (designed by Renzo Piano). they have a cafe in there that is perfect for getting nibbles and cocktails before the doors open at 7. there's even a glass elevator. and ellsworth kelly sculptures. and live music! class act all the way.

on one side of the museum is morgan's library, study, and his librarian's office, which are connected by a marble rotunda. it's an amazing time capsule- blood red flocked wallpaper, triple story bookcases, vaulted ceilings covered with frescos, fireplaces bigger than my bathroom. not to mention the antiques- 3 gutenberg bibles, a living mask of george washington, letters from jefferson and lincoln.

there's a fantastic exhibit of ancient mesopotamian cylinder seals dating back as far as 3500BC. i'm a little obsessed. so much detail carved into a bead smaller than my pinky finger.

the brownstone has the morgan dining room (which is where the actual morgan's dined), and a gorgeous gift shop. we ate at the dining room a few years ago and i remember it being good. and super fancy. way fancier than us.

of course the reason we went to the morgan (not that you need any reason at all when it's free) was to see the current exhibit of josef alber's paper studies for homage to the square. amazing. if you're interested in chromatic interactions, or a fan of the albers, run- don't walk, to see this show. photos are prohibited, but we snuck a few of our favorites:

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