Current Exhibitions


The Many Moods of Beethoven

Exhibit curated by Megan Ross and Patricia Stroh

Beethoven portrait


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Beethoven Center, Room 580
Current hours

Accessible for the disabled

See visitor information for directions and parking

Exhibition closes March 23, 2018

The mythic image of Beethoven—intense, serious, volatile, perhaps even slightly mad—comes across in many of the portraits and sculptures created over the past two centuries. However, these visual images present just one side of the creative genius, who in reality was an ordinary human in many ways; that is, he experienced the joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures, contentment and suffering that we all experience on some level. This exhibit explores some of his many moods as related in his letters, diaries, and other documentary sources of his life. Because the portraits do not capture his countenance in these different emotional states, we offer these artistic depictions the “passions”—facial expressions of emotions ranging from astonishment to sadness—to help you imagine the entire range of Beethoven’s personality.


See also our online exhibits.


Guevara Lock of Beethoven's Hair

Lock of Beethoven's Hair

The "Guevara Lock of Beethoven's Hair," which has been on continuous display for the last twelve years, has been removed from the Center's exhibits for an indefinite period. Please stay tuned for updates on our hair exhibit page.