The Belle Greene–Bernard Berenson Letters Project


The Morgan Library & Museum– Jun 19, 2021

Belle da Costa Greene (1879–1950), the Morgan’s pathbreaking inaugural director, attracted considerable attention both in the press and from her many admirers. Among them was the Italian Renaissance art historian, scholar, and connoisseur Bernard Berenson (1865–1959). Following their introduction in early 1908, Greene and Berenson maintained a decades-long epistolary relationship (which occasionally became more intimate than letter-writing).

While Greene destroyed Berenson’s letters to her (as she did all her personal papers and correspondence before her death), hers to him remain at I Tatti, the former home of Bernard and his wife, Mary, on the outskirts of Florence, now the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. These letters, which span the period February 1909 to March 1949, constitute by far the most substantial surviving archive of personal papers associated with Greene.

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