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Leonard Bernstein at 100 – Member Opening – January 24

Leonard Bernstein at 100 – Member Opening – January 24

An exhibit celebrating the life and work of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), the great American composer and conductor who dedicated his life to making classical music a vibrant part of American culture, will stop in Tulsa and will be shared between two of the city’s arts centers. Curated by the GRAMMY Museum®’s Founding Executive Director and renowned music historian, Robert Santelli, Leonard Bernstein at 100 is the official exhibition of the Bernstein centennial celebration. The exhibition is the most comprehensive retrospective of Bernstein’s life and career ever staged in a museum setting.

Blending his Jewish roots with the Western classical canon, jazz and popular music, Bernstein crossed genre lines and wrote landmark scores for musical theater (West Side Story, Candide) and film (On the Waterfront), and produced a large body of symphonic and choral works. As a conductor, Bernstein defined the profession for decades both at home and abroad. The first American-born Principal Conductor and Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, he dazzled the public with the passionate intensity of his performances. The exhibits will include artifacts that tell the story of Bernstein’s musical life and social justice work in his own words and actions, including handwritten score sheets, photos, and other personal items.

To accommodate the scale and scope of Leonard Bernstein at 100, the exhibition will be divided among two of Tulsa’s leading cultural institutions – The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art and the Woody Guthrie Center. This first-of-its-kind collaboration between the two centers presents a unique opportunity to explore the personal and professional life of one of America’s greatest 20th century artists.

“We are honored to be featuring this exhibition that highlights not only Leonard Bernstein’s life as a musician, but also his work as a philanthropist and social advocate and to be partnering with our friends at the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art,” said Deana McCloud, executive director at the Woody Guthrie Center. “Bernstein’s work is so vast that it demands a large space, and with this collaboration, we are spreading his message from downtown to south Tulsa. We look forward seeing to all the visitors that this incredible exhibition brings to Tulsa and to both of our organizations as we celebrate 100 years of Leonard Bernstein.”

“Celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with this dynamic exhibition depicting his life and works is an exciting opportunity for The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art and the Woody Guthrie Center. We look forward to greeting all who visit this exhibition and join with us in this celebration.” Drew Diamond, executive director of The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art.

The two opening receptions are: The SMMJA on Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. and the Woody Guthrie Center Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. The receptions will feature a conversation about the exhibit and Bernstein’s vase body of work with Robert Santelli, founding director of the GRAMMY Museum, and Alexander Bernstein, representing the Bernstein family.

For further information about the opening events, please contact or call 918-574-2710

This exhibition is made possible by:

Foundation sponsors: The Sharna and Irvin Frank Foundation, The George Kaiser Family Foundation, The Herman Kaiser Foundation, The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, The Frank Family Foundation, The Kirschner Trust

Media sponsor: Langdon Publishing

Major sponsors: The Oklahoma Arts Council, Irene and Irving Fenster, Susan Fenster, Cai and Paul Levy, Caroline and Rusty Johnson, Marian and Dennis Bires, Carol Miller, Barbara and Dave Sylvan