The Art of Biography: Beethoven and Steinbeck Exhibit
April 13 - July 31, 2019
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Exhibit Hall and Beethoven Center, Room 580
This exhibit will be a joint venture between the the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies and the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies in exploring the history of biography of their famous namesakes.
The Beethoven Center's portion of the exhibit illuminates the research of famed Beethoven
biographer Alexander Wheelock Thayer (1817-1897), an American diplomat and journalist
who was the first writer to systematically document Beethoven's life. Using resources
from the recently-acquired Gertrude Behr Family Thayer Collection, the exhibit traces Thayer's research trips to Europe to interview Beethoven's contemporaries and examine important documents. The exhibit features photographs of some of Beethoven’s descendants; Thayer's passport
and travel documents; original manuscript letters; and even one of Beethoven's shirts
sold at the auction of his estate in 1827. Thayer's dress uniform, worn during his
appointment by President Abraham Lincoln to the US Consul in Trieste--complete with gloves, sword and helmet--will also be on display. Other sections
of the exhibit explore original sources on Beethoven's life including letters and diaries; authentic portraits of Beethoven; and famous biographical blunders
and current controversies.
Accessible for the disabled
See visitor information for directions and parking
See also our online exhibits.
Guevara Lock of Beethoven's Hair
The "Guevara Lock of Beethoven's Hair," which had been on continuous display for twelve years, has been removed from the Center's exhibits for an indefinite period. Please stay tuned for updates on our hair exhibit page.