A rich man and fancy books for FREE!

Along with my other adventures this past weekend, on Saturday I took advantage of the Smithsonian’s Free Museum Day! 

I heard about Free Museum Day through my favorite source for all things free and cheap in New York, The Skint. Luckily The Skint gave me the heads up about the really great offer a few days early so I could register!

Free Museum Day is an awesome deal and happens all of the country (take note for next year!). Hundreds of museums participate. You go online, choose your museum, print out your ticket, and then show up! Super great.

I was planning on going to the New York Historical Society. Thought that would be a good introductory museum to really fill me in on all things New York.

What I wasn’t filled in on was the fact that the museum was being renovated so there wasn’t much of a museum at all.

Determined to take advantage of a free museum, I didn’t give up. I looked up the New York list again and found the Morgan Library and Museum.  It was named after a rich man and included library in the name. I also had an idea of where it was. And so it was fate.

I got to the Morgan Library and Museum to find one of the most extravagant book collections I’ve ever seen. And that says a lot coming from the girl who went to IU and visited the Lilly Library many times. Along with being one of the world’s biggest financiers and a New York celebrity, Pierpont Morgan was also an avid book collector. This man had at least 100 versions of the Bible in his red velvet wall library. It was impressive. He also had an original mold of George Washington’s face. I mean, why not?

The one room I could sneak a photo of

Since Pierpont’s time, his library has been attached to a museum that now houses other exhibits. One of which being one of the most interesting exhibits I’ve ever seen. It was the Smithsonian’s collection of lists.

What? Wierd, I know. But for the event planner who thrives on lists, this was the coolest thing to me. Did I mention it was fate?

The exhibit housed all different lists from painters, sculptors, architects, writers and others from all over the world. The lists could be a to-do, a packing list, reason’s why I love you, or artwork inventory. It was SO cool to see the personal lists of such interesting people and how different people organize themselves.

I was a bit taken back by how unorganized some of these lists were! Especially the important ones like… art inventory or pieces sold. But they are artists… a very different brain than me.

My favorites were a journalist’s 29 facts on himself, an architect’s reasons he loves his wife, and this one:

A painter's list of things to pack for Europe

A great afternoon and another cool New York free find!


2 thoughts on “A rich man and fancy books for FREE!

  1. One of the girls I lived with was an art major so she was a huge museum person. So when I was the only one in the city for the 4th of July weekend I asked her which ones I should visit. I only made it to one, MOMA (and totally loved it, they were having a typography display that I couldn’t leave), but she told me about a tiny museum that she loved. So here is her message:

    …Now, for my hidden New York gem, The Morgan Museum and Library (www.themorgan.org). My favorite spot I’ve found so far. It’s got on an incredibly interesting exhibit about artists’ to-do lists (I bought the book if you want to see what I mean) and it is a library of rare books from the collection of Pierpont Morgan… literally like the library in Beauty and the Beast full of truly amazing things. I’d tell you what all I saw, but finding it is part of the fun. It was not crowded at all, very quiet, interesting and if you’re there on the half hour there’s a short film on the bottom floor that gives you the history of the Morgan collection. I’m obsessed.

    So funny that you both found it! I never ended up going, but it is on my list now of must hit places next time I’m in the city! Which, as of right now, looks like January. :(

  2. Pingback: Gerard Butler « From the Fifth Floor

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