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Virgin and Child Statue, limestone, painted and gilded, Ile-de-France, about 1340-1350, given by J. Pierpont Morgan

Virgin and Child Statue, limestone, painted and gilded, Ile-de-France, about 1340-1350, given by J. Pierpont Morgan

John Pierpont Morgan was a banker, financier and art collector who loaned a portion of his collection to the Museum. His collection of stained glass was given to the Museum by his son.

Morgan was born on 17 April 1837 in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Upon completion of his further education in Switzerland and Germany, he joined the New York bank Duncan, Sherman & Co. as a non-salaried clerk in 1857. Morgan became a partner in the firm Drexel, Morgan & Co., which later changed its name to J. P. Morgan & Co.

During his life, Morgan amassed a substantial art collection, a large portion of which was kept in London, either at his private residence or, between 1901 and 1912, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where it was displayed in the loan court. In 1911, he began to transfer his collection to New York in order to avoid heavy death duties. Morgan was president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1904 to 1913. He died in Rome, Italy, on 31 March 1913, aged 75. Morgan bequeathed his collection to his son Jack, who proceeded to dispose of several thousand objects at auction. In 1917, Jack donated 7,000 objects to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Victoria and Albert Museum was the beneficiary of his generosity when he presented it with a collection of stained glass assembled by his father.

Information in the V&A Archive

MA/1/M2725/1-14 – Nominal file: J. Pierpont Morgan

MA/31/9 & 10: Registers of loans

MA/49/2/82-88: Press cuttings

Other archival deposits

Morgan Library and Museum, New York

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Selected printed works

‘Mr. John Pierpont Morgan’ [obituary]. In The Burlington Magazine 23 (1913): 65-7. NAL pressmark: PP.1.A

Gennari-Santorini, Flaminia. ‘Medieval Art for America: The arrival of the J. Pierpont Morgan collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.’ Journal of the History of Collections 22, no.1 (2010): 81-98

Taylor, Francis Henry. Pierpont Morgan as collector and patron, 1837-1913. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1957. NAL pressmark: 196.E Box

Burk, Kathleen. ‘Morgan, Junius Spencer (1813–1890).’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. NAL pressmark: 920.041 DIC

To locate material in the National Art Library, please search the Library Catalogue.

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