MORGAN, John Pierpont (1914)

Three quarter seated portrait, signed upper right ‘A Muller-Ury 1914’.

Present Whereabouts Unknown

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John Pierpont Morgan was born in Hartford Connecticut on April 17, 1837, and educated in Europe and the University of Gottingen where he was considered a mathematical genius. In his early twenties he acted as American representative of his father’s London banking firm, and during the years of the American Civil War and afterwards in the development of American industry and railroads played a major role as a banker and organizer, with his credit considered safer than that of the United States government. One of the foremost collectors of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he acquired major works of art wherever in the world he was travelling, most of which are today in American museums. He died in Rome on March 13, 1913.

In the Times Picayune, New Orleans, Tuesday, October 6, 1942, Muller-Ury told a reporter the following: ‘Morgan never missed a sitting. When I commented on this, he said, “And why should I break an appointment? I have no patience with people who do!”’

Select Bibliography:

Frederick Lewis Allen, The Great Pierpont Morgan, New York, 1948

Cass Canfield, The Incredible Pierpont Morgan: Financier & Art Collector, London, 1974.

Louis Auchincloss, J. P. Morgan: The Financier as Collector, New York, 1990

Jean Strouse, Morgan: American Financier, New York 1999.

After Morgan’s death in 1913 – Muller-Ury attended the financier’s funeral at St. George’s Church, Stuyvesant Square and East 16th Street on April 14, 1913, and stuck his gallery admission card in his scrapbooks – American Art News reported that Muller-Ury’s ‘portrait of the late J. Pierpont Morgan, a commission from the financier’s family, has just been completed. It is an excellent character study as well as a thoroughly good likeness.’ A photograph of a three quarter seated portrait of Morgan in the ‘Juley’ photographs at the Smithsonian, is clearly signed ‘A. Muller-Ury 1914’ in the top right corner.

An extra lot called ‘Portrait of J.P. Morgan’ was sold, Plaza Art Galleries, 9-11, East 59th Street, New York, Friday evening, December 5th, 1947, Sale 2813, as Lot 75B (Fetched $12.50 – marked copy in Frick Art Reference Library).