Medieval Bible, literary correspondence hereabouts

The Pierpont Morgan Library, closed until early next year for renovation, houses “a world-class collection of old master drawings and prints, medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, and literary, historical and music manuscripts, in addition to rare books.”

I’ve walked past it a few times, but always thought it was just another pretty branch of the NYPL. Now, between Carol Vogel’s Times article and a quick tour of the website, I’m dying for the place to reopen.

The permanent literary collection includes autographs, manuscripts and letters from Dickens, Austen, Poe, the Brontë sisters, Alexander Pope, Mark Twain, and Lord Byron. Items permanently on display when the library reopens next year will include Mary Shelley’s copy of Frankenstein, with her notes and revisions.

And there’s the Medieval Picture Bible, believed to have been “commissioned by Louis IX of France, the Capetian monarch who built the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris to house the crown of thorns before leaving for the first of his two crusades in 1248.”

Currently at Princeton University, as part of a traveling exhibition called The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library’s Medieval Picture Bible, the Bible includes some stunning images, including an artist’s rendering of The Story of Noah (see above, right).


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