I went to the Morgan Library tonight.
There is wonderful exhibit there of illuminated Medieval manuscripts. I went on the recommendation of a nice fellow who gave me a ride into town from LaGuardia.
In the new acquisitions exhibit, here are a few things I found.
A manuscript page of an untitled story by Ernest Hemmingway (1947)
Artist Arthur Getz’s sketchbook from 1948-58 of covers for New Yorker.
A playbill of the 1788 Leipzig performance of Mozart’s Il dissoluto punito o sia D. Giovanni.
A score of Meistersinger marked up by Wagner.
Letters of Oscar Wilde.
A typewritten letter of TS Eliot from 1929 to a friend, a roomate from college. Some rather funny but scatological verse was included. Also the detail: "the Criterion is sent to you with invoice. Yes, it still exists, in spite of various vicissitudes; and the Pope, Ramsey Mac, and Herbet Hoover are said to tear it open with trembling fingers once every three months."
A page a story by Bernard Malamud, marked up and edited by him with changes. Fascinating.
A first printing from 1567 of the Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina.
An autograph photo and page of Yeats.
A letter of Charles Dawin eight years after Origin, in which he claims that his views will be universally accepted.
A 1536 printing of Bede’s Opuscula cumplura.
Seven photos of Mark Twain in a rocking chair on his porch which he wrote on as a series showing, like a story board, Twain having a moral debate with himself.
A scale survey map of London and Southwark from 1748.
Sketches by Degas, Mattisse, Toulouse-Laurtrec and many other artists.
Dylan Thomas’s hand written draft of "In the white giant’s thigh", close to the end of his life.
A singed ms page of Charles Dickens "Evenings of a working man" from 1844.
Dante Gabriel Rosetti’s letter to introduce himself and his poetry to Leigh Hunt, a friend of Keat, Shelley, and Byron. 1847
Robert Frost’s note to Conrad Aiken about his upcoming visit… and tennis.
A 1743 wordbook of London performance of the Messiah.
A manuscript page of the second movement of the 7th Symphony by Beethoven from 1812.
A letter of Vincent van Gogh to Paul Gauguin 1888 about an upcoming visit of the latter. It has sketches of a sitting room. He writes, "I often don’t know what I am doing, working almost like a sleepwalker."
How about this…
A handwritten manscript by Frederik the Great of his refutation of Machiavelli’s The Prince. But WAIT! There’s more! It is marked up by Voltaire, to whom Frederick had sent it for corrections and suggestions. COOL?
At the closing of the Library, I met a priest friend who was kind enough to take me out to supper at a superb country-style French place. I had duck with orange sauce and a gentle Cote du Rhone. The duck was tender with just the right amount of fat. It came with green beans and a little mix of rice and wild mushrooms.