Pierpont Morgan's immense holdings ranged from Egyptian art to Renaissance paintings to Chinese porcelains. For his library, Morgan acquired illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints. At his death, much of his collection was donated to the Metropolitan Museum and the Wadsworth Athanaeum; the remainder is housed here, in his residence (and modern addition.)
The collection spans from early Mesopotamian and Egyptian through Greco-Roman culture, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and beyond. Art of the ancient world is represented by Near Eastern figurines, Egyptian statuettes, and a Roman bronze statue of Eros. Masterpieces in Renaissance and baroque art include paintings by Hans Memling and Perugino, miniatures on ivory, Lucas Cranach's roundel portraits of Martin Luther and His Wife, and a bas-relief of the Virgin and Child by the 15th-century Florentine sculptor Antonio Rossellino.
Founded in 1924, the museum and library is housed in a complex of Renaissance and Palladian style buildings designed to be majestic yet intimate. A 2006 renovation and expansion integrates the museum's three historical buildings with three modestly scaled steel-and-glass pavilions connected by a soaring central court which, in the spirit of an Italian piazza, serves as a central gathering place.