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Peabody Institute Anne Brown collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: PIMS-0099
Anne Wiggins Brown was a soprano who is best known for creating the role of Bess in George Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess and starring in its initial stage run in 1935. The Peabody Institute Anne Brown collection contains press clippings about Brown, photographs, an autographed 78-rpm album jacket of Porgy and Bess highlights, and a videotape of highlights from her visit to the Peabody Institute in 1998 to receive the George Peabody Medal. It also includes a copy of Brown's autobiography in Norwegian, Sang fra frossen gren (Song from a Frozen Hilltop), and a typed partial manuscript of Brown's own English translation.

Dates

  • 1940 - 2002

Creator

Language of Materials

Predominantly English. Brown's published autobiography is in Norwegian.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Arthur Friedheim Library Archives of the Peabody Institute. Contact peabodyarchives@lists.jhu.edu for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Extent

0.4 Cubic Feet (1 full letter-sized box and 1 record jacket)

Biographical / Historical

Anne Wiggins Brown was a soprano who is best known for creating the role of Bess in George Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess and starring in its initial stage run in 1935. Born in Baltimore in 1912, Brown attended Frederick Douglass High School and studied music with W. Llewellyn Wilson. After being denied entry to the Peabody Conservatory of Music because it did not admit African-American students at the time, Brown enrolled at the Juilliard School of Music and earned degrees in 1932 and 1934.

While at Juilliard, Brown learned that Gershwin was working on an opera based on DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy and wanted a part. Her involvement led Gershwin to write more songs for the character of Bess and revise the title of the opera. She would go on to perform the role more than 600 times.

Brown married Thorleif Schjelderup, a Norwegian ski jumper, in 1948 and moved to Oslo, where she spent the rest of her life and continued to perform as a singer. Her autobiography, Sang fra frossen gren, was first published in Norway in 1979 and became a best seller. In 1998, the Peabody Conservatory awarded her the George Peabody Medal for her lifetime of outstanding contributions to music.

Scope and Contents

The Peabody Institute Anne Brown collection contains press clippings and preservation copies of clippings about Brown, photographs of Brown, an autographed 78-rpm album jacket of Porgy and Bess highlights, an autographed photograph of George Gershwin inscribed to Brown, and a VHS cassette of highlights from her visit to the Peabody Institute in 1998 to receive the George Peabody Medal and deliver an address to graduates. It also includes a copy of Brown's autobiography in Norwegian, Sang fra frossen gren (Song from a Frozen Hilltop), and a typed partial manuscript of Brown's own English translation.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was assembled by Peabody archivist Elizabeth Schaaf from multiple sources, including donations by Anne Brown.

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Schaaf.

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Contact:
Arthur Friedheim Library
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA