Ellington, Mercer Kennedy, 1919-1996 (musician) Search this
Strayhorn, Billy (William Thomas), 1915-1967 Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Musical History Search this
400 Cubic feet
New York (N.Y.) -- 20th century
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- 20th century
Washington (D.C.) -- 20th century
1903 - 1989
The collection documents Duke Ellington's career primarily through orchestrations (scores and parts), music manuscripts, lead sheets, transcriptions, and sheet music. It also includes concert posters, concert programs, television, radio, motion picture and musical theater scripts, business records, correspondence, awards, as well as audiotapes, audiodiscs, photographs, tour itineraries, newspaper clippings, magazines, caricatures, paintings, and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
Dating approximately from the time Duke Ellington permanently moved to New York City in 1923 to the time the material was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in 1988, the bulk of the material in the Duke Ellington Collection is dated from 1934-1974 and comprises sound recordings, original music manuscripts and published sheet music, hand-written notes, correspondence, business records, photographs, scrapbooks, news clippings, concert programs, posters, pamphlets, books and other ephemera. These materials document Ellington's contributions as composer, musician, orchestra leader, and an ambassador of American music and culture abroad. In addition, the materials paint a picture of the life of a big band maintained for fifty years and open a unique window through which to view an evolving American society.
The approximate four hundred cubic feet of archival materials have been processed and organized into sixteen series arranged by type of material. Several of the series have been divided into subseries allowing additional organization to describe the content of the material. For example, Series 6, Sound Recordings, is divided into four subseries: Radio and Television Interviews, Concert Performances, Studio Dates and Non-Ellington Recordings. Each series has its own scope and content note describing the material and arrangement (for example; Series 10, Magazines and Newspaper Articles, is organized into two groups, foreign and domestic, and arranged chronologically within each group). A container list provides folder titles and box numbers.
The bulk of the material is located in Series 1, Music Manuscripts, and consists of compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and other composers. Series 6, Sound Recordings also provides a record of the performance of many of these compositions. The materials in Series 2, Performances and Programs, Series 3, Business Records, Series 8, Scrapbooks, Series 9, Newspaper Clippings, Series 11, Publicity and Series 12, Posters provide documentation of specific performances by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. Ellington was a spontaneous and prolific composer as evidenced by music, lyrical thoughts, and themes for extended works and plays captured on letterhead stationery in Series 3, Business Records, in the margin notes of individual books and pamphlets in Series 14, Religious Materials and Series 15, Books, and in the hand-written notes in Series 5, Personal Correspondence and Notes.
During its fifty-year lifespan, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra were billed under various names including The Washingtonians, The Harlem Footwarmers and The Jungle Band. The soloists were informally called "the band", and Series 3 includes salary statements, IOU's, receipts and ephemera relating to individual band members. Series 1, Music Manuscripts contains the soloists' parts and includes "band books" of several soloists (for example; Harry Carney and Johnny Hodges) and numerous music manuscripts of Billy Strayhorn. The changing role of Strayhorn from arranger hired in 1938 to Ellington's main collaborator and composer of many well-known titles for Duke Ellington and His Orchestra including "Take The A' Train" and "Satin Doll" can be traced in these music manuscripts. Series 7, Photographs and Series 2, Performances and Programs contain many images of the band members and Strayhorn. This Collection also documents the business history of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. Series 3, Business Records contains correspondence on letterhead stationery and Series 11, Publicity contains promotional material from the various booking agencies, professional companies, and public relations firms that managed the Orchestra.
The materials in the Duke Ellington Collection provide insight into public and institutional attitudes towards African Americans in mid-twentieth-century America. The business records in Series 3 beginning in 1938 and published sheet music in Series 1 depict Duke Ellington's progression from an African-American musician who needed "legitimization" by a white publisher, Irving Mills, to a businessmen who established his own companies including Tempo Music and Duke Ellington, Incorporated to control his copyright and financial affairs. Programs from the segregated Cotton Club in Series 2, Performances And Programs and contracts with no-segregation clauses in Series 3: Business Records further illustrate racial policies and practices in this time period. The public shift in perception of Duke Ellington from a leader of an exotic "Jungle Band" in the 1930s to a recipient of the Congressional Medal Of Freedom in 1970 is evidenced in Series 2, Performances And Programs, Series 12, Posters, Series 7, Photographs and Series 13, Awards. Reviews and articles reflecting Ellington's evolving status are also documented in Series 8, Newspaper Clippings, Series 9, Scrapbooks, Series 10, Newspaper and Magazine Articles.
The materials in the Duke Ellington Collection reflect rapid technological changes in American society from 1923-1982. Sound recordings in Series 6 range from 78 phonograph records of three minutes duration manufactured for play on Victrolas in monaural sound to long-playing (LP) phonograph records produced for stereo record players. Television scripts in Series 4, programs in Series 2 and music manuscripts (for example, Drum Is A Woman) in Series 1 demonstrate how the development of television as a means of mass communication spread the Orchestra's sound to a wider audience. The availability of commercial air travel enabled the Ellington Orchestra to extend their international performances from Europe to other continents including tours to Asia, Africa, South America and Australia and archival material from these tours is included in every series.
Series 4, Scripts and Transcripts and Series 6, Audio Recordings contain scripts and radio performances promoting the sale of United States War bonds during World War II, and Series 7, Photographs includes many images of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra's performances for military personnel revealing the impact of historic events on Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. Series 2: Programs and Performances, Series 9, Newspaper clippings and Series 8, Scrapbooks document the 1963 Far East tour aborted as a result of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
The Duke Ellington Collection contains works by numerous twentieth-century music, literature, and art luminaries. Series 1, Music Manuscripts contains original music manuscripts of William Grant Still, Eubie Blake, Mary Lou Williams, and others. Series 4, Scripts and Transcripts contains a play by Langston Hughes, and Series 12, Posters contains many original artworks.
Series 1: Music Manuscripts, circa 1930-1981, undated
Series 2: Performances and Programs, 1933-1973, undated
Series 3: Business Records, 1938-1988
Series 4: Scripts and Transcripts, 1937-1970
Series 5: Personal Correspondence and Notes, 1941-1974, undated
Series 6: Sound Recordings, 1927-1974
Series 7: Photographs, 1924-1972, undated
Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1931-1973
Series 9: Newspaper Clippings, 1939-1973, undated
Series 10: Magazine Articles and Newspaper Clippings, 1940-1974
Series 11: Publicity, 1935-1988
Series 12: Posters and Oversize Graphics, 1933-1989, undated
Series 13: Awards, 1939-1982
Series 14: Religious Material, 1928-1974
Series 15: Books, 1903-1980
Series 16: Miscellaneous, 1940-1974
Biographical / Historical:
A native of Washington, DC, Edward Kennedy Ellington was born on April 29, 1899. Edward was raised in a middle-class home in the Northwest section of Washington described by his sister Ruth--younger by sixteen years--as a "house full of love." Ellington himself wrote that his father J.E. (James Edward) raised his family "as though he were a millionaire" but Edward was especially devoted to his mother, Daisy Kennedy Ellington. In 1969, thirty-four years after his mother's death, Ellington accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom with these words, "There is nowhere else I would rather be tonight but in my mother's arms." Both his parents played the piano and Ellington began piano lessons at the age of seven, but like many boys he was easily distracted by baseball.
In his early teens, Ellington sneaked into Washington clubs and performance halls where he was exposed to ragtime musicians, including James P. Johnson, and where he met people from all walks of life. He returned in earnest to his piano studies, and at age fourteen wrote his first composition, "Soda Fountain Rag" also known as "Poodle Dog Rag." Ellington was earning income from playing music at seventeen years of age, and around this time he earned the sobriquet "Duke" for his sartorial splendor and regal air. On July 2, 1918, he married a high school sweetheart, Edna Thompson; their only child, Mercer Kennedy Ellington, was born on March 11, 1919. Duke Ellington spent the first twenty-four years of his life in Washington's culturally thriving Negro community. In this vibrant atmosphere he was inspired to be a composer and learned to take pride in his African-American heritage.
Ellington moved to New York City in 1923 to join and eventually lead a small group of transplanted Washington musicians called "The Washingtonians," which included future Ellington band members, Sonny Greer, Otto Hardwicke and "Bubber" Miley. Between 1923 and 1927, the group played at the Club Kentucky on Broadway and the ensemble increased from a quintet to a ten-piece orchestra. With stride pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith as his unofficial guide, Ellington soon became part of New York's music scene; Smith proved to be a long-lasting influence on Duke's composing and arranging direction. At the Club Kentucky, Ellington came under the tutelage of another legendary stride pianist, "Fats" Waller. Waller, a protege of Johnson and Smith, played solos during the band's breaks and also tutored Ellington who began to show progress in his compositions. In November 1924, Duke made his publishing and recording debut with "Choo Choo (I Got To Hurry Home)" released on the Blu-Disc label. In 1925, he contributed two songs to Chocolate Kiddies, an all-black revue which introduced European audiences to black American styles and performers. By this time Ellington's family, Edna and Mercer, had joined him in New York City. The couple separated in the late 1920's, but they never divorced or reconciled.
Ellington's achievements as a composer and bandleader began to attract national attention while he worked at the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City, from 1927 to 1932. The orchestra developed a distinctive sound that displayed the non-traditional voicings of Ellington's arrangements and featured the unique talents of the individual soloists. Ellington integrated his soloists' exotic-sounding trombone growls and wah-wahs, their high-squealed trumpets, their sultry saxophone blues licks and Harlem's street rhythms into his arrangements. In the promotional material of the Cotton Club, the band was often billed as "Duke Ellington and His Jungle Band." With the success of compositions like "Mood Indigo," and an increasing number of recordings and national radio broadcasts from the Cotton Club, the band's reputation soared.
The ten years from 1932 to 1942 are considered by some major critics to represent the "golden age" for the Ellington Orchestra, but it represents just one of their creative peaks. These years did bring an influx of extraordinary new talent to the band including Jimmy Blanton on double bass, Ben Webster on tenor saxophone, and Ray Nance on trumpet, violin and vocals. During this ten year span Ellington composed several of his best known short works, including "Concerto For Cootie," "Ko-Ko," "Cotton Tail," "In A Sentimental Mood," and Jump For Joy, his first full-length musical stage revue.
Most notably, 1938 marked the arrival of Billy Strayhorn. While a teenager in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Strayhorn had already written "Lush Life," "Something To Live For" and a musical, Fantastic Rhythm. Ellington was initially impressed with Strayhorn's lyrics but realized long before Billy's composition "Take the A' Train" became the band's theme song in 1942 that Strayhorn's talents were not limited to penning clever lyrics. By 1942, "Swee' Pea" had become arranger, composer, second pianist, collaborator, and as Duke described him, "my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brain waves in his head, and his in mine." Many Ellington/Strayhorn songs have entered the jazz canon, and their extended works are still being discovered and studied today. Strayhorn remained with the Ellington Organization until his death on May 30, 1967.
Ellington had often hinted of a work in progress depicting the struggle of blacks in America. The original script, Boola, debuted in Carnegie Hall in November of 1943, retitled Black, Brown and Beige. The performance met with mixed reviews, and although Ellington often returned to Carnegie Hall the piece was never recorded in a studio, and after 1944 was never performed in entirety again by the Ellington Orchestra. Nonetheless, it is now considered a milestone in jazz composition.
After World War II the mood and musical tastes of the country shifted and hard times befell big bands, but Ellington kept his band together. The band was not always financially self-sufficient and during the lean times Ellington used his songwriting royalties to meet the soloists' salaries. One could assign to Ellington the altruistic motive of loyalty to his sidemen, but another motivation may have been his compositional style which was rooted in hearing his music in the formative stage come alive in rehearsal. "The band was his instrument," Billy Strayhorn said, and no Ellington composition was complete until he heard the orchestra play it. Then he could fine tune his compositions, omit and augment passages, or weave a soloist's contribution into the structure of the tune.
In 1956, the American public rediscovered Duke and the band at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island. The searing performances of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves on "Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue," his premiere soloist, alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges on "Jeep's Blues", and the crowd's ecstatic reaction have become jazz legend. Later that year Duke landed on the cover of Time magazine. Although Ellington had previously written music for film and television (including the short film, Black and Tan Fantasy in 1929) it wasn't until 1959 that Otto Preminger asked him to score music for his mainstream film, Anatomy of a Murder, starring Jimmy Stewart. Paris Blues in 1961, featuring box-office stars Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier in roles as American jazz musicians in Paris, followed.
Ellington's first performance overseas was in England in 1933, but the 1960s brought extensive overseas tours including diplomatic tours sponsored by the State Department. Ellington and Strayhorn composed exquisite extended works reflecting the sights and sounds of their travels, including the Far East Suite, 1966. They wrote homages to their classical influences; in 1963, they adapted Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and celebrated Shakespeare's works with the suite Such Sweet Thunder in 1957. With Ella Fitzgerald, they continued the Norman Granz Songbook Series. Ellington also began to flex his considerable pianist skills and recorded albums with John Coltrane (1963), Coleman Hawkins (1963), Frank Sinatra, and Money Jungle (1963) with Charles Mingus and Max Roach. The First Sacred Concert debuted in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral in 1965. In his final years, Ellington's thoughts turned to spiritual themes and he added a Second (1968) and Third (1973) Concert of Sacred Music to his compositions.
In his lifetime, Duke received numerous awards and honors including the highest honor bestowed on an American civilian, the Congressional Medal Of Freedom. In 1965, Ellington was recommended for a Pulitzer Prize to honor his forty years of contribution to music but the recommendation was rejected by the board. Most likely he was disappointed, but his response at the age of sixty-six was, "Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn't want me to be famous too young."
Ellington never rested on his laurels or stopped composing. Whenever he was asked to name his favorite compositions his characteristic reply was "the next five coming up," but to please his loyal fans Ellington always featured some of his standards in every performance. Even on his deathbed, he was composing the opera buffo called Queenie Pie.
Duke Ellington died on May 24, 1974 at seventy-five years of age. His funeral was held in New York's Cathedral of St. John The Divine; he was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. His long-time companion Beatrice "Evie" Ellis was buried beside him after her death in 1976. He was survived by his only child, Mercer Kennedy Ellington, who not only took up the baton to lead the Duke Ellington Orchestra but assumed the task of caring for his father's papers and his legacy to the nation. Mercer Ellington died in Copenhagan, Denmark on February 8, 1996, at the age of seventy-six. Ruth Ellington Boatwright died in New York on March 6, 2004, at the age of eighty-eight. Both Mercer and Ruth were responsible for shepherding the documents and artifacts that celebrate Duke Ellington's genius and creative life to their current home in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Materials in the Archives Center
William H. Quealy Collection of Duke Ellington Recordings (AC0296)
Rutgers University Collection of Radio Interviews about Duke Ellington (AC0328)
Duke Ellington Oral History Project (AC0368)
Duke Ellington Collection of Ephemera and realated Audiovisual Materials (AC0386)
Annual International Conference of the Duke Ellington Study Group Proceedings (AC0385)
Robert Udkoff Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera (AC0388)
Frank Driggs Collection of Duke Ellington Photographic Prints (AC0389)
New York Chapter of the Duke Ellington Society Collection (AC390)
Earl Okin Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera (AC0391)
William Russo Transcription and Arrangement of Duke Ellington's First Concert of Sacred Music (AC0406)
Ruth Ellington Collection of Duke Ellington Materials (AC0415)
Music manuscripts in the Ruth Ellington Collection complement the music manuscripts found in the Duke Ellington Collection.
Carter Harman Collection of Interviews with Duke Ellington (AC0422)
Betty McGettigan Collection of Duke Ellington Memorabilia (AC0494)
Dr. Theodore Shell Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera (AC0502)
Edward and Gaye Ellington Collection of Duke Ellington Materials (AC0704)
Andrew Homzy Collection of Duke Ellington Stock Music Arrangements (AC0740)
John Gensel Collection of Duke Ellington Materials (AC0763)
Al Celley Collection of Duke Ellington Materials (AC1240)
Materials at Other Organizations
Institute of Jazz Studies
Artifacts related to this collection are in the Division of Culture and the Arts (now Division of Cultural and Community Life) and include trophies, plaques, and medals. See accessions: 1989.0369; 1991.0808; 1993.0032; and 1999.0148.
The collection was purchased through an appropriation of Congress in 1988.
Collection is open for research but the original and master audiovisual materials are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Copyright restrictions. Consult the Archives Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
Paul Ellington, executor, is represented by:
Richard J.J. Scarola, Scarola Ellis LLP, 888 Seventh Avenue, 45th Floor, New York, New York 10106. Telephone (212) 757-0007 x 235; Fax (212) 757-0469; email: email@example.com; www.selaw.com; www.ourlawfirm.com.
Annotated typescript of Schillinger's article "Art Continuum Classification and Definition"; an annotated typescript of excerpts from his published book, THE MATHEMATICAL BASIS OF THE ARTS, and duplicates of excerpts from the book form; notes, formulae, and designs using the formulae; magazines and newspaper clippings about Schillinger; photographs of designs and of Schillinger; notes about his theorem for composing music; unidentified photographs from a scrapbook; and a description for a course he taught at Columbia University, "A Method of Evolving Rhythmic Design."
Biographical / Historical:
Mathematician, scientist, theorist, composer, musician, teacher, and author; New York, N.Y.
The donor, Frances Schillinger, is the widow of Joseph Schillinger.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Mathematicians -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The Emilio Herbruger Photographs consist mostly of full length portraits of Mayan people in Guatemala. The photos depict adults and children, sometimes demonstrating a domestic task, or wearing garments indicating leadership status or for special occasions.
Scope and Contents:
The Emilio Herbruger Photographs consists of 44 carte de visite photographs taken in Guatemala of Mayan peoples, prinicpally from the Kaqchikel, Quiché, and Tz'utujil ethnic communities. Many of the prints are hand labeled with a description of the ethnicity and place of origin of the person(s) photographed. It is not known if Herbruger traveled to take the photographs, nor if he provided any part of the regalia or objects depicted in them.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
The materials are arranged in alphabetical order, first by the name of the ethnic and linguistic community of the person(s) photographed, then by town of origin, when indicated. It is not known whether the location reference refers to the location the photo was taken, or the origin of the subject of the photo. Prints lacking specification are located at the end.
Biographical / Historical:
Emilio ("Emil") Herbruger, Sr. was born in Rheda-Wiedenbruck, Germany in 1808 and died in New Jersey in 1894. Principally a daguerreotypist, ambrotypist, and photographer, he was also a composer, musician, and pharmaceutical agent. After immigrating to New Jersey as a young man, he lived and worked in several Latin American countries beginning in the 1840s. These include Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, and Panama. He is considered the first commercial photographer in Guatemala, where he established a gallery in Guatemala City around 1846. His photographs often depict local people, nature, and city scenes. He worked on occasion with his sons, Florencio C. Herbruger and Emilio Herbruger, Jr., also known as Emilio Herbruger Rietbrok. Additionally, the noted Guatemalan photographer Alberto Valdeavellano studied with the Herbrugers in Antigua, Guatemala.
Cruz, Keneth. "Día Mundial de la fotografía: ¿Por qué se celebra el 19 de agosto?" Prensa Libre. 19 August 2019. https://www.prensalibre.com/vida/escenario/dia-mundial-de-la-fotografia-por-que-se-celebra-el-19-de-agosto/
Garzon Díaz, Valia. "Panamá a través de la lente de Emil Herbruger Wheling (1808-1894),"Mesoamérica 45 (Enero-Diciembre 2003), Pp. 85-99.
Palmquist, Peter, and Thomas Kailbourn. "Herbruger, Emil, Sr.," Pioneer photographers of the far west: A biographical dictionary, 1840-1865, 295-296. Stanford UP, 2000.
1808 April 24 -- Born in Rheda-Wiedenbruck, Germany
1834 -- Emigrated to U.S. Participated in exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky
1840 -- Travelled through Cuba, Mexico, and Central America
1846 -- Established a gallery in Guatemala City, Guatemala
1849-1951 -- Lived in Colombia
1852-1857 -- Traveled in Peru and Brazil
1861 -- Opened Emilio Herbruger e Hijos in Panama City, Panama
1866 -- Opened gallery in Guatemala City, Guatemala
1868 -- Displayed at exhibition sponsored by Sociedad Económica Published polka composition "La Unión"
1868-1870 -- Worked and traveled through Honduras
1871 -- Established Fotografía Imperial gallery in Guatemala City, Guatemala
1870s -- Operated gallery with son Emilio Herbruger, Jr. in Panama City, Panama
1894 -- Died in Egg Harbor, New Jersey
Information about the articles of clothing worn by the subjects of these photos is avaiable in the NAA vertical file.
Photographs by Emilio Herbruger are also held by the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica in the Fototeca Guatemala, and the Archivo Fotográfico of the Bilbioteca Pública Piloto in Colombia. Sheet music by Emil Herbruger is held by the Library of Congress.
There is currently no information available regarding the provenance of this collection.
The Emilio Herbruger Photographs are open for research.
Access to Emilio Herbruger Photographs requires an appointment.
The letters of Paul Cadmus to Webster Aitken measure 0.02 linear feet and date from 1945-1979. Found within the collection are letters, notes, and postcards from Cadmus to Aitken regarding music, composers, musicians, mutual friends, Cadmus's sister and brother-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln Kirstein, travels, and Cadmus's work, art processes, and personal reflections on life events.
Scope and Contents:
The letters of Paul Cadmus to Webster Aitken measure 0.02 linear feet and date from 1945-1979. Found within the collection are 49 letters, notes, and postcards from Cadmus to Aitken regarding classical music, composers, musicians, mutual friends, Cadmus's sister and brother-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln Kirstein, travels, and Cadmus's work, art processes, and personal reflections on life events.
The collection is arranged as 1 series:
Series 1: Paul Cadmus Letters to Webster Aitken, 1945-1979 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter Paul Cadmus (1904-1999) lived and worked in New York, N.Y. and Weston, Connecticut and was known for realist works of New York public life and the social lives of men. Cadmus was born in New York City to lithographer and watercolorist Egbert Cadmus and his wife, Maria Latasa, a fellow artist and book illustrator. With the support of his family, Cadmus entered the National Academy of Design at the age of 15 where he excelled in life drawing and printmaking classes. After graduating from the Academy in 1926, he continued his studies at the Art Students League where he met fellow artists Jared French and George Tooker. Throughout the 1920s, Cadmus found work as a commercial illustrator and layout artist for various agencies, including the New York Herald-Tribune.
In 1933, after two years of travel through France and Spain with Jared French, Cadmus returned to New York and was one of the first artists to be accepted into the federal Public Works of Art Project. Throughout the 1930s, his depictions of sailors and New Yorkers in public life were seen as controversial, beginning with the 1934 ejection of his painting The Fleet's In! from the Corcoran Gallery and continuing into 1940 with objections to the showing of Sailors and Floozies at the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition. Cadmus met his partner Jon Anderson in 1964 and featured him as a model for many of his subsequent works. Cadmus was a member of the National Academy of Design and the American Academy of Arts and Letters and died in his home in 1999.
Pianist and educator Webster Aitken (1908-1981) lived and worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A student of Emil Sauer and Artur Schnabel, Aitken studied at the Curtis Institute and had his recital debut in Vienna in 1929 and his American debut in New York's Town Hall in 1935. He is known for his 1938 London and New York performances of Schubert's sonatas, and a series of programs on the late works of Beethoven performed at American universities. Aitken taught at the Carnegie Institute, the University of Illinois, and the University of Texas. He died in his home in 1981.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Paul Cadmus letters to Edgar Munhall and an oral history interview with Paul Cadmus conducted by Judd Tully, March 22, 1988. The University of Texas at Austin holds the Webster Aitken Collection, 1899-1985.
The letters were donated in 1981 by Cadmus' long-time friend and Aitken's wife, Lilian Gilbert Aitken.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The letters of Paul Cadmus to Webster Aitken measure 0.1 linear feet and date from 1945-1979. Found within the collection are 49 letters, notes, and postcards from Cadmus to Aitken regarding classical music, composers, musicians, mutual friends, Cadmus's sister and brother-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln Kirstein, travels, and Cadmus's work, art processes, and personal reflections on life events.
Materials are arranged chronologically.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Paul Cadmus letters to Webster Aitken, 1945-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings and born-digital records with no duplicate access copies requires advance notice.
Jeff Donaldson papers, 1918-2005, bulk 1960s-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digitization of the Jeff Donaldson papers was provided by the Walton Family Foundation.
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Search this
The annual Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert celebrates Ralph's mind and spirit, his untiring and wide-ranging cultural work, his all-encompassing humanity, his commitment to traditional musicians and artisans, and his never-ending will to increase and diffuse knowledge in support of cultural democracy.
The 2008 concert honored New York City's René López, a grassroots cultural activist, lay scholar, educator, collector, and music producer. René was among Ralph Rinzler's special friends and colleagues in many ground-breaking field research projects and musical endeavors. Both were keen on research, documentation, and respectful presentation of musicians and their genres and on the importance of disseminating grassroots arts and traditions to diverse audiences across the world. Their collegiality led to years of Smithsonian performances, archival documentation, recordings, and public programs.
Grupo Folklórico y Experimental Nuevayorquino, one of numerous culture and advocacy projects that René López gave birth to, became legendary after its founding in 1974 for experimental recordings that brought together some of the most gifted, often little-noticed elder composer-musicians (with deep connections to Puerto Rican and other Caribbean and Latin American communities and audiences) with some of the brightest young musicians, who would go on to master traditional musical genres, become major innovators in various Latino and other musical genres, and continue to explicitly identify themselves and their art as grounded in traditional, community-based music and participation.
Performing at the Rinzler Concert for only the second time in thirty years (the reunion concert was in Berlin, Germany, last fall), Grupo was joined by renowned Cuban drummer, community leader, and Afro-Cuban priest Orlando "Puntilla" Ríos, who died a few weeks later in New York on August 12.
James Counts Early and René López were Curatorial Advisors and Rebecca Smerling Marcus was Coordinator. Joan López and James Counts Early were Presenters.
Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert
Grupo Folklórico y Experimental Nuevayorquino -- Grupo Folklórico y Experimental NuevayorquinoJerry Carlson, New York, New YorkJuan Flores, Brooklyn, New YorkGene Golden, 1940-, Palisades Park, New JerseyAndy Gonzalez, 1951-, Bronx, New YorkGuido Gonzalez, 1966-, New York, New YorkNelson Gonzalez, Bronx, New YorkReynaldo Jorge, 1949-, Bloomfield, New JerseyRene Lopez, Dobbs Ferry, New YorkRene Lopez, Jr., Brandon, FloridaJorge Maldonado, 1950-, Newark, New JerseyEddie Martinez, 1942-, Fairview, New JerseyManny Oquendo, 1931-, Bronx, New YorkOrlando "Puntilla" Rios, New York, New YorkAbraham Rodriguez, Jr., 1955-, Brooklyn, New YorkAnthony Rosa, 1964-, Brooklyn, New YorkEddie Venegas, 1973-, Flushing, New YorkEddy Zervigon, Maspeth, New York
Access to the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is by appointment only. Visit our website for more information on scheduling a visit or making a digitization request. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.