You all know how much I LOVE JP Morgan!!
On initially entering the Morgan library, my first reaction was to laugh. It is inarguably magnificent, but what is one supposed to make of a man who builds an entranceway rotunda, combining Roman, Greek, and Egyptian influences, for their own private library?
Supplementing this pomposity, is the apparent narcissism. In his study in the library, J.P. Morgan’s desk faces a portrait of himself, painted by the British artist Frank Holl in 1888. To his right, the desk is flanked by another portrait, this time by Frank Owen Salisbury, of Morgan in the red robes of scholar – the result of an Honorary Degree in Law conveyed by the University of Cambridge in 1919. His desk is gilt-embossed with his own initials.
These gestures seem remarkably doubting from an unimaginably wealthy man, the pre-eminent financier of his era. It is certainly the case that the other titans of the Gilded Age…
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