Fine Arts

Creswell, Thomas

Grand Rapids, Michigan, poet, and teacher with the Freedmen's Bureau after the Civil War.

Copies of poetry largely reflecting a white interpretation of the experiences of Black persons living in America; also poetry containing religious themes.

MIRLYN entry

Original, hand-written score of "Unchained
Melody." From Box 1 of the Todd Duncan

Duncan, Todd

Duncan was an African American baritone singer who originated the role of Porgy in George Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess. Duncan toured until 1965 and acted in two films, Syncopation and Unchained. In retirement he gave private vocal instructions.

Scrapbooks, programs, photographs, newspapers, clippings and personal material documenting Duncan's life and career including an original score for Unchained Melody.

Finding aid available online.

Jessye, Eva

A prominent choral director, composer, arranger, writer, poet, actress and African American music historian. Jessye was conductor for the Original Dixie Jubilee Singers and choral director for the opera Four Saints in Three Acts, and was choral director for the original production of Porgy and Bess, and toured extensively in later performances of Porgy and Bess. Jessye came to the University of Michigan in 1974 and established the Eva Jessye Afro-American Music Collection.

Personal papers and collected material of Eva Jessye including material from her personal and professional life as well as material documenting prominent African-Americans. Material includes original program from the 1963 March on Washington (where Eva Jessye Choir performed), Porgy and Bess programs, clippings and photographs

Finding aid available online.

Kirk, Andy

African American musician and band leader, Kirk toured extensively in the 1930s and 1940s with Andy Kirk and the Twelve Clouds of Joy.

Personal papers, photos and ephemera documenting Kirk's musical career, particularly the period 1935-1950. Includes background and clippings on musicians and acts Kirk toured with as well as material for Kirk's band.

Finding aid available online.

Patterson, Willis C.

Music professor at the University of Michigan School of Music, 1968-1999, and first African-American faculty member at the School, also associate dean of academic affairs from 1979 to 1998. Patterson was a professional opera singer, and briefly directed the University of Michigan Glee Club. He wrote on African-American art-songs, and organized a Black American Music symposium in Ann Arbor in 1985. Founded "Our Own Thing," a local chorale that gave free music lessons and opportunities for disadvantaged children.

Collection includes personal correspondence, research for his book "Art Songs by Black American Composers," planning related to the 1985 Black American Music Symposium he organized and work related to his involvement in the King-Chavez-Parks Visiting Professors Program.

Finding aid available online.