On a rainy evening in New York City, during the fall of 2023, a group of Untapped New York Insiders sought shelter within the book-lined walls of The Morgan Library and Museum, and we had the place all to ourselves. The Morgan had recently completed a multi-year exterior restoration, the first in over 100 years, and opened a new garden space. This summer, join Insiders once again as we explore the grand library on an after-hours tour! Check out photos and highlights of what we saw during the first tour and find out how you can join us.

This tour on July 2nd is free for Untapped New York Insiders! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today with promo code JOINUS and get your first month free!

After Hours Tour of the Morgan Library

Morgan Library garden

The Morgan Library is a grand classical structure designed by Charles McKim of the illustrious New York City architecture firm McKim, Mead, and White. Made of Tennessee pink marble, the 1906 building was constructed to house financier J.P. Morgan’s extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, and art. The maquette you see in this image, along with the wonderful docent who led our tour, was created by the architect in 1904 and differs only slightly from the finished structure.

Entrance Rotunda

Morgan Library Entrance Rotunda
Library Entrance Rotunda
The ceiling in the entrance rotunda

Morgan’s Study

J.P. Morgan Office
J.P. Morgan’s Personal Study

After admiring the marble-clad entrance hall, Insiders got to get up close to the many paintings and artifacts on display in J.P. Morgan’s personal study. The striking room is where Morgan met with art dealers, scholars, business colleagues, and friends.

Hanging above a bookshelf, you’ll find a portrait of Morgan’s son, J.P. Morgan Jr., the man who made his father’s collection open to the public. A portrait of Pierpont Morgan by Frank Holl hangs above the fireplace on an adjoining wall.

Portait of J.P. Morgan
Insiders listen as our docent talks about a work of art in Morgan’s study
Morgan Library Vault

Morgan kept some of his most valuable and precious items close. Hidden in the study is a steel-lined vault sealed with a heavy door and combination lock.

The Library

The main attraction at The Morgan is the library. Here, bookcases cover the walls from the floor to the soaring thirty-foot ceiling. Made of inlaid Circassian walnut and bronze, the cases hold priceless books and manuscripts that Morgan collected throughout his life. The library is also full of hidden secrets. Hidden behind bookcases at the corners of the room, there are two secret staircases that lead to the balconies above.

Above the fireplace, there is a massive tapestry called The Triumph of Avarice. It was designed by Pieter Coecke van Aelst and woven in the workshop of Willem de Pannemaker in Brussels. Dated to 1545, the tapestry is one of a series that depicts the Seven Deadly Sins and it once belonged to Henry VIII.

On the tour, Insiders learned about all of the hidden symbols within the art on the library’s ceiling. The paintings depict famous artists and their muses, as well as the signs of the zodiac. The placement of the zodiac signs was personal to Morgan. Above the door, he placed Aries and Gemini, signs that correspond with Morgan’s birthday (April 17, 1837) and the date of his marriage to his second wife Frances Louisa Tracy (May 31, 1865).

One of the many fascinating objects Insiders got to see on this tour was a Gutenberg bible. The Morgan has three of only 50 copies known to exist!

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After Hours Tour of the Morgan Library

Insiders at the Morgan Library