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Art: My Castle on the Nile at the Main Public Library

By Steve Rosen · January 4th, 2011 · CityBeat Recommends

On�Friday, the main Public Library of�Cincinnati and Hamilton (800 Vine St., Downtown) gets its 2011 exhibition season underway with My Castle on the Nile: Illustrated Sheet Music by Black Composers, 1828-1944. It will be up through Feb. 28 in the museum's Cincinnati Room. The show draws on sheet music from the library's extensive collection, featuring covers�that are hand-drawn and�often reproduced as brightly colored chromolithographs.

While it has work by such well-known figures�as "Fats" Waller and Duke Ellington, it also delves deeper into the music's history.

For instance, there is 1828 sheet music by Francis Johnson, the first African-American composer to have his works published in this form and to give racially integrated concerts. Also�featured is�19th-century�Tin Pan Alley�composer Gussie Davis, a native Cincinnatian who wrote "Irene, Good Night" in 1886, made famous decades later in an altered version —�called "Goodnight, Irene" — by the folksinger Leadbelly.

The show was curated by Theresa Leininger-Miller, assistant art history professor at UC who�will give an opening lecture at 2 p.m.�Saturday. For more information, call the Library's�Geneology & History Department at 513-369-6905.

Go here for library hours and exhibit information.



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