Starting on February 18, The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City will open a new exhibit to “tell the story of Woody Guthrie, the great American troubadour, and writer.”
The exhibit is called Woody Guthrie: People Are the Song. And it is presented by the Woody Guthrie Center and Woody Guthrie Publications, in collaboration with the Morgan Library & Museum.
Guthrie, who is one of America’s greatest songwriters and inspiration to Bob Dylan (see: “Song to Woody”), was born in 1912 and died in 1967. He is known as an icon of the Depression era and wrote upwards of 3,000 songs, including the legendary tune, “This Land Is Your Land.”
According to a statement from The Morgan, “Guthrie was not only a songwriter, and his subject matter extended well beyond labor politics. The full corpus of his creativity—including lyrics, poetry, artwork, and largely unpublished prose writings—encompassed topics such as the environment, love, sex, spirituality, family, and racial justice.
“Guthrie created a personal philosophy that has impacted generations of Americans and inspired musician-activists from Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen to Ani DiFranco and Chuck D. As Bob Dylan noted of Guthrie, “You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live.”
The exhibition will run through May 22 and will feature “an extraordinary selection of instruments, manuscripts, objects, photographs, books, art, and audiovisual media. Prominent among these rarely seen objects are the original, handwritten song lyrics to “This Land Is Your Land,” which Guthrie composed just a few blocks away from The Morgan in 1940,” read the statement.
Woody Guthrie: People Are the Song is also made possible by the Sherman Fairchild Fund for Exhibitions, the Charles E. Pierce, Jr. Fund for Exhibitions, and the Margaret T. Morris Fund for Americana. Additional support is provided by Jon and Barbara Landau.