Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Display case (from above) @ The Evergreen State College Library - Olympia WA

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Display case (from above) @ The Evergreen State College Library - Olympia WA
photo library
Image by WA State Library
I visited the Evergreen State College Library on Wednesday, January 20th, to talk about Ask-WA with the librarians there.

I'm an alum, but don't get out to campus much, so it was nice to see some famliar sights (and plenty of change as well).

Photo taken by Ahniwa Ferrari.


NYC: Morgan Library & Museum
photo library
Image by wallyg
The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. As early as 1890 Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints.

Mr. Morgan's library, as it was known in his lifetime, was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the library was intended as something more than a repository of rare materials. Majestic in appearance yet intimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings. The result was an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America's Age of Elegance. Based on the attic story of the Nymphaeum of 1555, built in Rome for Pope Juluis III, its facade of Tennessee marble was laid up without mortar centers on an entrance in the form of a Palladian arch. To either side are lions carved by Edward Clark Potter and roundels and panels by Andrew O'Connor and Adolph Weinman. The refined sumplicity of the exterior belies the richness of the interior. The colorful marble entrance hall is crowned by a domed ceiling adorned with murals and plasterwork by H. Siddons Mowbray. The East Library, which was Mowbry's study and called "one of the great achievements of American interior decoration," is dominated by triple tiers of bookcases and ornameted with lunettes by Mowbry.

Completed three years before McKim's death, it is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In 1924, eleven years after Pierpont Morgan's death, his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr., realized that the library had become too important to remain in private hands. In what constituted one of the most momentous cultural gifts in U.S. history, he fulfilled his father's dream of making the library available to all by transforming it into a public institution. Over the years—through purchases and generous gifts—The Morgan Library & Museum has continued to acquire rare materials as well as important music manuscripts, early children's books, Americana, and materials from the twentieth century.

Without losing its decidedly domestic feeling, the Morgan also has expanded its physical space considerably. In 1928, the Annex building, designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris, was erected on the corner of Madison Avenue and 36th Street, Pierpont Morgan's residence. The Annex connected to the original McKim library by means of a gallery. In 1988, J.P. Morgan, Jr.'s former residence, a mid-nineteenth century brownstone, was added to the complex. The 1991 garden court was constructed as a means to unite the various elements of the Morgan campus.

The largest expansion in the Morgan's Library's history, adding 75,000 square feet to the campus, was completed in 2006 after approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commision. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, the project increased exhibition space by more than fifty percent and added important visitor amenities, including a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new café and a new restaurant, a shop, a new reading room, and collections storage. Piano's design integrates the Morgan's three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel-and-glass pavilions. A soaring central court connects the buildings and serves as a gathering place for visitors in the spirit of an Italian piazza.

The Pierpont Morgan Library and Annex was designated as a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966. The interior was designated separately in 1982.

National Register #66000544 (1966)


Main entrance (from inside) @ the Bellingham Public Library - Bellingham WA
photo library
Image by WA State Library
I visited the Bellingham Public Library on Thursday, January 21 2010. I got to meet lots of great Bellingham Public and Whatcom County librarians who attended my "Ask-WA training, and got to explore their great library!

Photo taken by Ahniwa Ferrari.