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    By Michael Dalby on

     The Cleveland Public Library Special Collections Department has a group of Autographed Photographs of United States Presidents.  The collection contains autographed portraits of the following United States presidents: Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Ronald Reagan.  Each of the portraits is inscribed offering best wishes to the "Cleveland Public Library." These portraits formerly hung in the Presidents' Corridor of the Cleveland Public Library which was located in the west hallway on...

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    By Michael Dalby on

    The Arts and Crafts Movement, which developed in the late 19th century as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and "soulless," poorly crafted, machine-made objects, sparked a renewed interest in handmade objects, and spurred the growth of studio potteries and art pottery.  Art pottery, defined as pottery created more for its artistic merit than for its functional use, thrived in Ohio in the early decades of the 20th century, including the Rookwood, Weller, and Roseville establishments. Keramic Studio is a magazine that was published from 1899-1924 in response to this burgeoning area of...

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    By Michael Dalby on

    Mahalia JacksonMahalia Jackson is one of America’s greatest gospel singers.  Born in New Orleans in 1911, she grew up in the Baptist church but moved to the more musically adventurous Holiness church.  Even though it was considered the Devil’s music, she was inspired by recordings of blues singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith.  Moving to Chicago in 1927, she began singing with her church choir and the Johnson Gospel Singers.  In the mid-thirties she began touring and promoting the songs of Thomas A. Dorsey.  Jackson recorded first for Decca and then for Apollo including W. Herbert Brewster’s “Move on...

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    By Michael Dalby on

    Ma RaineyWhile the blues developed in the rural South, the earliest recordings of blues were made by women who played the tent show circuits in the South and picked up blues songs from the town where they played.  These proved to be popular in their shows which led to the first blues recording by Mamie Smith in 1921.  This vaudeville or classic blues style was popular throughout the twenties with artists like Bessie Smith, Victoria Spivey, and Sippie Wallace making best-selling records and touring throughout the United States.  The singer known as the Mother of the Blues, influencing all of other women blues singers,...

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    By Michael Dalby on

    Jacob LawrenceJacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 - June 9, 2000) was one of America's leading modern figurative painters. From the beginning of his career in the 1930's he was among the most impassioned visual chroniclers of the African-American experience. Mr. Lawrence's paintings, often created in a narrative series, combined a Cubist-inflected painting style, a gift for storytelling and a social consciousness shaped by his memories of growing up in Harlem.

    His Migration Series, completed in 1941, will be featured as part of the...

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    By Michael Dalby on

     The Cleveland Public Library Special Collections Department has a group of Autographed Photographs of United States Presidents.  The collection contains autographed portraits of the following United States presidents: Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Ronald Reagan.  Each of the portraits is inscribed offering best wishes to the "Cleveland Public Library." These portraits formerly hung in the Presidents' Corridor of the Cleveland Public Library which was located in the west hallway on...

    Read More »

    By Michael Dalby on

    The Arts and Crafts Movement, which developed in the late 19th century as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and "soulless," poorly crafted, machine-made objects, sparked a renewed interest in handmade objects, and spurred the growth of studio potteries and art pottery.  Art pottery, defined as pottery created more for its artistic merit than for its functional use, thrived in Ohio in the early decades of the 20th century, including the Rookwood, Weller, and Roseville establishments. Keramic Studio is a magazine that was published from 1899-1924 in response to this burgeoning area of...

    Read More »

    By Michael Dalby on

    Mahalia JacksonMahalia Jackson is one of America’s greatest gospel singers.  Born in New Orleans in 1911, she grew up in the Baptist church but moved to the more musically adventurous Holiness church.  Even though it was considered the Devil’s music, she was inspired by recordings of blues singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith.  Moving to Chicago in 1927, she began singing with her church choir and the Johnson Gospel Singers.  In the mid-thirties she began touring and promoting the songs of Thomas A. Dorsey.  Jackson recorded first for Decca and then for Apollo including W. Herbert Brewster’s “Move on...

    Read More »

    By Michael Dalby on

    Ma RaineyWhile the blues developed in the rural South, the earliest recordings of blues were made by women who played the tent show circuits in the South and picked up blues songs from the town where they played.  These proved to be popular in their shows which led to the first blues recording by Mamie Smith in 1921.  This vaudeville or classic blues style was popular throughout the twenties with artists like Bessie Smith, Victoria Spivey, and Sippie Wallace making best-selling records and touring throughout the United States.  The singer known as the Mother of the Blues, influencing all of other women blues singers,...

    Read More »

    By Michael Dalby on

    Jacob LawrenceJacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 - June 9, 2000) was one of America's leading modern figurative painters. From the beginning of his career in the 1930's he was among the most impassioned visual chroniclers of the African-American experience. Mr. Lawrence's paintings, often created in a narrative series, combined a Cubist-inflected painting style, a gift for storytelling and a social consciousness shaped by his memories of growing up in Harlem.

    His Migration Series, completed in 1941, will be featured as part of the...

    Read More »

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