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By Holland Cotter
“Elegance is refusal,” Diana Vreeland declared. But not always. She would have had a tough time selling that line of logic to the financier and elegance addict J. P. Morgan, a notable nonrefuser in practically every area, including art. He bought porcelains by the pound, drawings by the ream, bucketsful of Near Eastern cylinder seals and box upon box of rare books, chucking the junk and keeping the gems. Such was his way.
Nor did he hold back in commissioning the architect Charles Follen McKim to design the personal office and library for him at the corner of 36th Street and Madison Avenue that will reopen on Saturday after a $4.5 million restoration. The 1906 building is part of the Morgan Library & Museum.