Financier J. Pierpont Morgan collected more than 20,000 works of art in 23 years. The Wadsworth Atheneum’s exhibit Morgan: Mind of the Collector, funded by Connecticut Humanities, details his pursuit of global culture.
J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) was born in Hartford. His family was the third generation of Morgans to support the Wadsworth Atheneum. His grandfather Joseph was one of its founders. Both Pierpont and his father contributed generously to the museum. In 1917, Pierpont’s son Jack donated more than 1,350 objects from the family’s collection to the Wadsworth Atheneum after his father’s death, forming the core of the museum’s European decorative arts collection. Morgan: Mind of the Collector corresponds with the 100th anniversary of that gift.
Morgan’s story as a collector is not as well known as the story of his business career. His collection included sculpture, manuscripts, rare books, prints and drawings, paintings, and decorative arts including silver, porcelain, glass, tapestries, enamels, ivories and bronzes. Morgan: Mind of the Collector brings together more than 100 of these works of art to illuminate Morgan’s pursuit of global culture, commemorating his collecting achievements and exploring his motivations, buying decisions, and impact on the evolution of art collecting and museums in America.
Profiling what he collected and how, Morgan: Mind of the Collector assesses the remarkable man and his art collection with fresh eyes and the distance. The exhibit features works of art from the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Morgan Library.
The exhibit is on display from now until December 31, 2017. For more information, please see the Wadsworth Atheneum’s website.