The theme for Friday’s Manhattan adventure was a deep dive into literature so it was only fitting that we got to see two Gutenberg Bibles in one day-first at the NYC Public Library and then in the evening at the Morgan Library. Just blocks apart, these masterpieces are two of only 49 left of their kind, the first major book printed around 1450 using mass-produced movable type. A beautiful and historic book to behold and the Morgan Library has 3 copies that they rotate to preserve. They’ve done a good job because it is in great repair for being so old and enduring many adventures among owners in the past before being acquired in 1815 for the Morgan Library.
Taking advantage of the free Friday deal to visit the Morgan, we sought out Rembrandt’s first masterpiece, Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver, which is considered to be his first mature work. Perhaps we are a little jaded from seeing so many Rembrandts on our Amsterdam tour but still it was impressive, along with other pieces of his work on display.
More interesting to me though was the Charlotte Bronte exhibit that showcased all her talents from drawing to writing. She and her sisters started early in life by creating tiny books telling stories to each other. Charlotte was a strong liberated woman for her day (with a teeny tiny 18 inch waist-dress pic) and wanted only to write and not be a teacher or governess as the culture would dictate her to be in the early 1800’s. She declared herself “a free human being with an independent will”. Unfortunately, it’s still hard to make a living being a writer even in this day and age. I respect her fortitude to follow her passion and share her talents with the world.
After soaking up the opulent Morgan Library with it’s iron staircases leading to even more books on the upper floors interspersed with tapestries and paintings and, of course, an elegant ceiling, we enjoyed a jazz trio treating the crowd to a spirited jam session. Resting before the walk home, Thom and I smiled and agreed it was another perfect day in NYC.