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“A Highlight of Our Trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum
29 East 36th Street, New York City, NY 10016
(212) 685-0610
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Ranked #27 of 633 Attractions in New York City
Type: Libraries, Art Museums, Museums
Activities: Shopping
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Attraction details
Owner description: Housed along with the collected books and manuscripts of J. Pierpont Morgan, the Treasures of the Royal Tombs of Ur include beautiful jewelry and trinkets from ancient Sumeria.
Columbus, Ohio
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“A Highlight of Our Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2010

In a short visit, we viewed exhibits of 18th century French drawings; Puccini manuscripts, programs, and posters; William Blake's art & poetry; and the letters of Jane Austin's circle plus Gillray's cariacatures of the day and more' as well as touring Mr. Morgan's study and library. I admit to skipping the ancient Near East cylinder seals! This is a wonderful place if you can visit when the exhibits interest you, as they are very well presented.

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English first
Jersey City, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Wildly overrated: Rarely displays its best works”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2009

All the guide books (and many TripAdvisor members) list this among the great museums in the city, and a look through a list of its holdings shows why.

The Morgan Library has drawings by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Durer and Rembrandt. It has handwritten manuscripts by composers like Beethoven, Mahler and Schubert as well as authors like Dickens, Twain and Milton. Want autographs? The Morgan has Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Washington and Jefferson. It even has a signed copy of Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon.

It's an incredible collection -- except for the fact that visitors rarely get a chance to see any of these wonders.

The collection so exceeds the display space that the museum has to rotate, and the curators seem to have no regard for what laymen might actually want to see. At any given time, no more than a quarter of the really famous stuff is on display. The only way to see the museum is to go to the gift shop, pick up a glossy tome about the Morgan and look at all the great stuff that was nowhere to be seen during the visit you just completed.

You will be irate.

You will be doubly irate because the museum wastes quite a bit of space on temporary exhibitions that cannot touch the hidden parts of the permanent collection in terms of viewer interest. The last time I was at the museum, I got to see the originals for some New Yorker cartoons rather than Renaissance masterpieces. They looked just as they do in the magazine, only larger. I'd have rather seen the pardon.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Outstanding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2007

This is a gem of a museum. The exhibits are well laid out and informative, with an especially impressive exhibit on literary, musical, and illuminated manuscripts. The museum has set up a very intimate experience of JP Morgan's personal study, so that you can truly appreciate how he incorporated great art into his everyday life. The library itself is breath-taking, and the guard was friendly and let us see how the hidden staircases worked inside the bookshelves. This museum is also not so overwhelming - you can leisurly take in the exhibits in half a day.

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