Belle da Costa Greene, The Extraordinary Librarian-Scholar Who Created the Morgan Library,” with Daria Rose Foner (A Virtual Event)
On March 27 at 3 p.m., the Friends welcome Dr. Daria Rose Foner, a 2011 Princeton alumna, who recently joined Sotheby’s New York after having served as the Research Associate to the Director at the Morgan Library & Museum. Dr. Foner’s talk will introduce Belle da Costa Greene (1879-1950), arguably one of the greatest librarian-scholars of the 20th century, who began her career at Princeton University Library. Within a few years of being hired away by J. Pierpont Morgan in 1905, she became his chief consultant on bibliographic matters, eventually serving as the inaugural director of the Pierpont Morgan Library.
Witty, vivacious, and intellectually curious, Greene forged a life for herself that existed at the intersection of high society, discriminating scholarship, and haute couture. Dr. Foner will trace Greene’s life from her origins in an upper-class African American community in Washington D.C., through her ascension to the pinnacle of her profession, and explores how the racial barriers of Jim Crow America led Greene, her mother, and her siblings to “pass” as white of Portuguese descent.
More about Dr. Daria Rose Foner:
Dr. Foner completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton University and a Masters of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. She received her doctorate from Columbia University. Work on her dissertation, “Collaborative Endeavors in the Career of Andrea del Sarto,” was supported by the Fulbright Association, the Medici Archive Project in Florence, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Italian Art Society. At the Morgan, Dr. Foner worked on a range of exhibitions and collections-based initiatives, conducted considerable research on the institution’s early history, and with the Director, co-wrote an essay on J. Pierpont Morgan as a collector of rare books and manuscripts. She is the Co-Director of the Belle Greene – Bernard Berenson letters project and is currently preparing an essay on Belle Greene’s personal collection of Italian paintings. Dr. Foner is now at Sotheby’s New York in the Old Master Paintings Department. She is also the caa.reviews editor for New York exhibitions.
This event is part of the Friends of the Princeton University Library Small Talks Series held each month on a Sunday at 3 p.m.