January 27, 2009 "Depression and Creativity" Symposium at the Library of Congress on Feb. 3
Program Marks Mendelssohn Bicentennial
Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Anne McLean (202) 707-8432
Kay Redfield Jamison, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, convenes a discussion of the effects of depression on creativity on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. Joining Jamison for this free presentation will be two distinguished colleagues from the fields of neurology and neuropsychiatry, Dr. Terence Ketter and Dr. Peter Whybrow. The Music and the Brain series is co-sponsored by the Library's Music Division and Science, Technology and Business Division, in cooperation with the Dana Foundation. No tickets are required, and seating is first-come, first-served. One of the nation's most influential writers on creativity and the mind, Jamison is a noted authority on bipolar disorder. She is the co-author of the standard medical text on manic-depressive illness and author of “Touched with Fire,” “An Unquiet Mind,” “Night Falls Fast” and “Exuberance: The Vital Emotion.” Ketter is known for extensive clinical work with exceptionally creative individuals and a strong interest in the relationship of creativity and madness. He is professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Bipolar Disorders Clinic at Stanford University School of Medicine. Whybrow, an authority on depression and manic-depressive disease, is director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is also the Judson Braun Distinguished Professor and executive chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The "Depression and Creativity" symposium marks the bicentennial of the birth of German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), who died after a severe depression following the death of his sister, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, also a gifted composer. Rare Mendelssohn-related items from the Library’s archives will be on display during a special "Mendelssohn on the Mall" series presented by the Library of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution. With more than 300 letters, portrait engravings, watercolors and other documents, the Library's Gertrude Clarke Whittall Mendelssohn Collection is a rich resource for the study of Mendelssohn’s life. The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s Web site www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on myLOC.gov.