Charles E. Pierce, Jr., director of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City, will speak about the "Challenges Facing Cultural Institutions in the 21st Century," at The Friends of the Sarah Lawrence Library Annual Spring Gala at 8 p.m., Friday, April 23 in Reisinger Hall on the Sarah Lawrence campus.
The group will honor Michele Tolela Myers, in her first year as president of Sarah Lawrence, at this event. Both the lecture and reception which follows are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. For information and directions, please call (914) 395-2472.
The Friends of the Sarah Lawrence Library is a non-profit membership organization that provides the library with funds for acquisitions and archival support. Membership benefits include borrowing privileges from the library's holdings, free mini-courses by Sarah Lawrence faculty, invitations to visiting author's programs, as well as concerts and special events. Past speakers at Friends' galas have included Jonathan Schell, Harrison Salisbury, Calvin O. Butts, Vartan Gergorian, Walter Issacson, Jill Clayburgh, Tina Howe, and Brendan Gill.
Before becoming the director of The Pierpont Morgan Library in 1987, Pierce was professor of English and chairman of the English Department at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York. He is the author of The Religious Life of Samuel Johnson, as well as numerous articles and reviews in scholarly journals. He is a member of the American Antiquarian Society, the Association Internationale de Bibliophilie, and The Harvard College Board of Overseers, and serves on the visiting committee of the department of Art History at Vassar College.
Created by American financier J.P. Morgan, the Pierpont Morgan Library is known worldwide for its collection of rare books and manuscripts, including one of the 23 copies of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence; an edition of the collected works of Phillis Wheatley, one of the first known African-American poets; Mozart's handwritten score of the "Haffner" symphony; and a manscript by Albert Einstein describing how he developed his General Theory of Relativity. A repository of primary source materials for scholars, the library also possesses an extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, as well many Old Master drawings and prints.