Degas, Miss La La, and the Cirque Fernando at Morgan Library & Museum
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For several successive evenings in January 1879, Edgar Degas (1834-1917) attended performances at the Cirque Fernando by one of the most famous circus performers of his time, an aerialist known as Miss La La. For her extraordinary act, Miss La La was slowly hoisted nearly seventy feet into the circus's domed roof, suspended solely from a rope clenched between her teeth. Degas produced a number of studies of the performer and the circus building--drawings, pastels, and an oil sketch--before creating his celebrated painting, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando. The exhibition brings together for the first time Degas's remarkable painting, on loan from the National Gallery, London, and nearly all of the related preparatory works. Also on view will be images of the Cirque Fernando by Degas's contemporaries, photographs of Miss La La and her troupe, and posters and other printed material.
Venue Description: The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the foremost collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. In this complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints as early as 1890. Dedicated to fostering a greater knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of primarily Western history and culture, this educational institution records and reflects achievements of European and American literature, music, art, and history. In an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America's Age of Elegance, The Morgan Library includes a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new café and a new restaurant, a gift shop, a new reading room, and collections storage. Still one of America's premier institutions, 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, all open to public, fulfilling Pierpont Morgan's dream of making the library and its treasures available to scholars and the patrons alike. The Morgan Library & Museum is located at 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street and is open Tuesday through Thursday 10:30am- 5pm, Fridays 10:30am- 9pm, Saturdays 10am-6pm, and Sundays 11am-6pm. The Morgan is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. It closes at 4pm on Christmas and New Year's Eve. Admission to The Morgan is $12 for adults, $8 for children (under 16), $8 for seniors (65 and over), and $8 for students (with current ID). Admission to The Morgan is free for children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult), and is free on Fridays from 7pm- 9pm. Admission to the McKim rooms is without charge during the following times Tuesdays 3- 5pm; Fridays 7-9pm; and Sundays 4-6pm. Admission is not required to visit the Morgan Shop and Morgan Dining Room.