I've lived in New York City for about seven years now, and for all seven of them I have been saying, "Man, I really want to visit the Morgan Library."
This weekend, though, I finally went. (Why it took me so long to actually put that want into action, I will never know.) Armed with three of my fellow booklovers, we powered through every public exhibit in about two hours.
The main attractions: the Beatrix Potter special exhibit, "The Picture Letters," and the standard Pierpont Morgan's 1906 Library.
My reaction to said main attractions: *jaw dropping*
Not only were the pieces themselves stunning, but it was a very educational trip, as well. My knowledge of Beatrix Potter herself, I'll admit, had previously been limited to what I "learned" in the 2006 Renee Zellweger film Miss Potter, so the exhibit was enlightening. Potter's personality shines through every piece on display--her solitary nature, her love of children, her subtle sense of humor, her passion for her work and perfectionism (she was one of the first "self-pubbed" authors, in fact).
Charles Dickens's original MS for A Christmas Carol, for example, was even on display just as we entered the room (with a placard noting that he delivered the MS to his publisher in early December and it was published by Christmas...I got a good chuckle at that one!).
I don't quite know what to say about it all as I was dazed as I walked around in awe.
The reading room was a different story. Dimly lit, tall-ceilinged, and covered in crimson and velvet, the lush room was gorgeous. I wouldn't want to read there myself--I need more comfort and less pomp and circumstance--but it was stunning in its decor. I was particularly impressed with the fireplace--so large I could step in it and throw some dust, shouting "Diagon Alley!" just for fun--and the two-floor book safe (yes, a BOOK SAFE).
Remind me to go back to the Morgan for more book love sooner rather than later, okay, friends?