March 12, 1998 Gershwin Room Opens at the Library of Congress
Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
The George and Ira Gershwin Room at the Library of Congress is a tribute to the outstanding and enduring contribution to American music by the Gershwin brothers. It opens to the public March 17 and will be a permanent exhibition area for materials from the Library's George and Ira Gershwin Collection. It is in the northwest corridor of the ground floor of the restored Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., across from the Coolidge Auditorium. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
The Gershwin Collection at the Library of Congress is the world's preeminent resource for the documentary legacy of George and Ira Gershwin. The continually growing Gershwin Collection contains a wealth of materials that provide insight into the brothers' careers and personalities: manuscript and printed music, lyric sheets and librettos, personal and business correspondence, photographs, paintings and drawings, scrapbooks, contracts, royalty statements, programs, posters, the drafts and printer's galleys of Ira's Lyrics on Several occasions, scripts for radio broadcasts, other biographical writings and the Congressional Gold Medals that honor the Gershwin brothers and their contribution to American life and culture.
The George and Ira Gershwin Room opens with the exhibition "Here to Stay: The Legacy of George and Ira Gershwin." The exhibition includes George's piano and desk, Ira's typing table and typewriter, and a self- portrait oil painting of each brother, as well as documents that chronicle the lives and careers of George and Ira Gershwin. Porgy and Bess will be featured for the first few months of the exhibition, with a stage diagram, libretto, photographs and musical manuscripts related to the show. A selection of musical manuscripts from other Gershwin stage and screen shows such as Lady Be Good, Funny Face, Girl Crazy and Of Thee I Sing will also be on display, as well as the holograph score for George Gershwin's classic Rhapsody in Blue.
An interactive audio-video kiosk will allow visitors to view film footage and additional documents from the Gershwin Collection and to hear narrative text about the Gershwins and recordings of their music.