Gilmore Music Library Current and Recent Exhibits

Recent Exhibits | Exhibits before 2013

Current Exhibit

Hot Spots poster

Hot Spots: Highlights from the Jazz Collections in the Gilmore Music Library

Most of the Gilmore Music Library's holdings come from the classical tradition, but we are also a world-renowned center of jazz research. The Library is the home of the papers of the "King of Swing," Benny Goodman, as well as numerous other jazz figures, such as Mel Powell, Eddie Sauter, Slam Stewart, Red Norvo, and John Hammond. It also holds individual manuscripts by Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Fats Waller, and Glenn Miller. Hot Spots features a selection of these treasures, along with photographs of jazz luminaries from the papers of Stanley Dance and Helen Oakley Dance and Fred Plaut.

Recent Exhibits

Verdi and His Singers poster

Verdi and his Singers

October 2013-March 2014

Gilmore Music Library celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi with Verdi and His Singers. The exhibit features five items in Verdi’s hand: a quotation from Otello and four letters. It also includes a caricature of Verdi by Enrico Caruso, a Verdi score annotated by Robert Shaw, several photographs, and a variety of other materials. Many of the items are associated with Victor Maurel, a baritone who sang major roles in the premieres of Otello and Falstaff. Learn more here ...

 A Cole Porter Jubilee poster

From Peru to Paree: A Cole Porter Jubilee

October 2013–January 2014, in the SML Memorabilia Room

Curated by Suzanne Lovejoy and a team of staff members and graduate students

This exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Cole Porter's graduation from Yale in 1913 culminates a year of festivities. One of Yale's most notable musical alumni, Porter (1891–1964) is recognized as one of the greatest composers of Broadway's and Hollywood's golden years. Moreover, Porter and Irving Berlin were the only two composers to write their own lyrics.  And what beguiling music, such incomparable lyrics! Porter songs enlivened ten top Broadway musicals from the 1930s through the 1950s, but also survived many now-forgotten shows to enter the American songbook and be sung by crooners, pop singers, and jazz artists, as well as rock stars, cowboys, and opera divas. Generations have included Porter's songs in the soundtracks of their lives—enduring standards such as "Night and Day," "What Is This Thing Called Love?," "I Get a Kick out of You," "You're the Top!," "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," "Begin the Beguine," and "Anything Goes." And there are gems awaiting discovery among the lesser-known songs.  Drawing on the Gilmore Music Library's extensive Cole Porter Collection, the exhibition presents photographs, letters, scrapbooks, travel albums, lyrics, and music manuscripts, among other items, to illustrate the life and work of this remarkable man. In addition, a touchscreen computer table presents film clips and recordings of Porter's stylish and sophisticated songs.

Master or Monster poster

Master or Monster: Richard Wagner at 200

May-October 2013

In 2013 the world marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner, a pivotal figure in the history of western music. Wagner developed a new conception of opera, wrote about it at length, and then composed the librettos and music that put his theories into action. His works are still cornerstones of the operatic répertoire, and his stylistic and formal innovations influenced countless other composers. Wagner's musical genius and charismatic personality inspired cult-like devotion from his admirers, but his anti-Semitism and other character flaws made him many enemies as well, and he is still controversial today. Our exhibit includes five letters by Wagner, along with early photographs and a variety of other materials.

Encountering the Other

Encountering the Other (Ongoing online exhibit)


Curated by Emily Ferrigno and a team of graduate students

The Gilmore Music Library’s vast Special Collections are renowned for their strong emphasis on Western music. Embedded within the collections, however, are historical encounters with music outside of the Western classical canon.  In this exhibit, the music of “The Other” comes to us from a variety of sources: early voyages of discovery, the impetus to incorporate ethnic and indigenous traditions into art music, and the portrayal of racial identity in American music. This diversity of settings suggests that the identity of the Other shifts according to the politics of time and place.  Encountering the Other is an ongoing exhibit with an online component in blog form. We invite you to visit to view new additions and discoveries.

Exhibits are curated by Richard Boursy except where otherwise noted.