The Art Angle Podcast: The Black Art Visionary Who Secretly Built the Morgan Library [Re-Air]

This week, we explore the life of Belle da Costa Greene, the Black visionary who headed the Morgan Library and Museum.

Belle da Costa Greene.

Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join us every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more with input from our own writers and editors, as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.



This week, we thought we’d revisit an episode we recorded earlier this year about one of the more fascinating and under-known figures in American art history. Her name was Belle da Costa Greene, and she was the vivacious and spectacularly connoisseurial force behind building robber baron J.P. Morgan’s art collection and, now, New York’s Morgan Library.

Unusual at the time for being a women in such a powerful role, what is even more unusual is that she was a Black woman—a secret she successfully guarded her entire adult life.

To learn Belle da Costa Greene’s story—which is now being made into a major T.V. series—Andrew Goldstein spoke to Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, the authors of The Personal Librarian, a sensational novel about her life. Here’s our conversation.


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