Dear Wellness Seekers,
Enjoying Morgan Library Manhattan’s Reflective Winter Refuge is special destination. It is located in mid town at Madison and 36th. While living in New York it is my Winter ‘go to place’ when I find myself hungery for green space, cultural inspiration and serenity.
It’s easy walking distance from both my high rise office and my apartment also in a high rise, overlooking the east river. For someone who grew up in a two story country house with a big green yard all around, a vast garden and an apple orchard, the contrast in lifestyles can be both emotionally and physically confining. Sometimes I feel so claustrophobic in these limiting spaces the need to get out and set my feet on a solid foundation is essential – real earth underneath my feet was the only relief.
The Morgan Library was once a stately residence of John Pierpont Morgan and his second wife Frances after death of his first wife Amelia after one year of marriage. The crown jewel is the 1906 Library which is in a class by itself along with surrounding rooms – these rooms are luxurious in and old world way. Marble, richly carved woods, massive fireplaces and 18th century furnishings establish a period of exclusivity unparalleled. What really is stunning is experiencing the thoughtfully curated art and sculpture collections featured in their intended environments. These rooms in original state are dark and moody in keeping with the times. One can get lost in viewing priceless book treasures in the main library with the oldest scroll manuscript dating back to 1720 –almost 300 years old!
In addition one can view a fabulous collection of Bibles including a Gutenberg printed in 1455 as only one of three copies made. The medieval manuscripts are one of a kind with handcrafted bindings that have gold gilded covers framed with precious stones like rubies and sapphires. Many are handwritten of great writers, artists and composers. Stunning!
Knowing Mr. Morgan had the fore site to protect these vessels of creativity and historical record enriches my faith in mankind’s emotional capacity to recognize, love and protect such art. As you know my passion for books runs deep and to some degree is unexplainable but is undeniable. I salute Mr. Morgan’s fore site and am thankful for it.
The Morgan Library was added on to and dedicated to the public viewing for all to enjoy. Another of my favorite aspects is the Cafe located in an open atrium where light floods in to nourish greenery and trees that frame the space. I came out of the cold to be revitalized here after days at the Javits Center surrounded by 35,000 people attending the National Retail Federation Conference. My brain overwhelmed by news of ever changing technology innovations, I felt the need to shift to a real place with substance and culture. And thus, slowing my mind by concentrating on things of historical beauty – the books and art that withstood the test of time.
Being seated by the Cafe windows I started with a hot latte and then indulged in a signature brunch feature on the menu – the eggs, mushrooms and leek skillet that is perfect for this time of year. Yum it is. While enjoying this I watched the light change in the room. This atrium window installation was created by Spencer Finch. A modern juxtaposition compared to the old world estate of the library, there are two clear plexi-glass mobiles that rotate high in the air refracting light beams that dance along all the surfaces. Quite captivating. I allowed myself to enjoy lunch and be taken away on the beams of light.
The modern space addition also boasts exhibit rooms that feature unique limited time showings. This time with lunch behind me, I will see Rousseau’s woodland drawings. No photos were allowed at this exhibit but if you go to The Morgan Library website you will get a one dimensional glimpse.
For me the last stop is the fabulous gift shop full of special things you will not find elsewhere. Of course, I love the book collection but also the jewelry. Great place to find gifts for those you love.
Enjoying Morgan Library Manhattan’s Reflective Winter Refuge is a playground for adults who love the finer things. If you find yourself heading to New York this Winter I suggest a stop for brunch, traditional tea or even dinner in the intimate formal dinning room and an hour to explore the library, as least. This place is truly a national treasure.
Have you been to the Morgan Library? If yes what do you enjoy about it?
To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,