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City of Savannah Public Information Office

Posted on: April 4, 2017

Public invited to opening of new W. W. Law music exhibit

For Immediate Release
Date: April 4, 2017

The City of Savannah is pleased to announce the opening of the new exhibit “Law & Music: Discovering Music through the W. W. Law Collection,” on display now through January 2018 at the Beach Institute African American Cultural Center. An exhibit opening will be held on Thursday, April 13, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.

Exhibit Opening Details:
What: “Law & Music” Exhibit Opening
When: April 13, 2017, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Beach Institute African American Cultural Center, 502 East Harris Street
Musical Performances: 5:30 p.m. Teddy Adams Trio, featuring Eric Jones and Mitch Hennes; 6:15 p.m. Jacob G. Smith Elementary School Chorus
Admission Fee: This event is free and open to the public

Westley Wallace “W. W.” Law (1923-2002) was a prominent Civil Rights leader, local historian, historic preservationist, and community leader in Savannah, Georgia. He was also a lover of music, with a large music collection spanning a wide variety of musical genres and technological formats. Law was always eager to share his collection and musical knowledge with those he encountered. Through this exhibit, the City hopes to continue Law’s legacy of education and encourage others to discover music they may not be familiar with. The exhibit features content from W. W. Law’s music, book, periodical, and photograph collections, and includes interactive activities designed to introduce children to the math and science concepts embedded in music.

At the exhibit opening on April 13, a special musical performance by the Teddy Adams Trio, featuring Eric Jones and Mitch Hennes, will be presented at 5:30 p.m. in honor of W. W. Law and Ben Tucker, who was an early supporter of preserving the W. W. Law Music Collection. Teddy Adams, who taught with Law in the Savannah State University Elderhostel Program for over twenty years, recalled Law’s support of Savannah’s Jazz community, “W. W. Law was one of my heroes. He appreciated and supported Jazz all of his adult life. He was responsible for establishing the black musicians Union in 1955 (AFM Local 704).” The Jacob G. Smith Elementary School Chorus will perform at 6:15 p.m. in honor of W. W. Law’s persistent efforts to educate Savannah’s younger generations and introduce them to art, music and history.

Online Exhibit
In support of the “Law & Music” exhibit, the City of Savannah has also launched an online exhibit featuring album artwork from the W. W. Law Music Collection’s shellac and vinyl albums. These images include not only beautiful but inspiring examples of art and graphic design, and provide a sampling of the artwork and musical genres represented in the music collection, which includes over 5,700 shellac and vinyl discs.

The W. W. Law Collection includes a wide range of materials documenting Law’s vast interest in music, including: a variety of audio formats (shellac, vinyl, audio cassettes) encompassing numerous musical genres from the 1910s-2000s; a vast selection of books covering a wide range of topics including biographies of musicians, histories of music genres, compilations of sheet music, and hymn books from the 1870s-2000s; and an extensive periodical collection including music-related magazines from the 1930s-2000s. These collections are available to the public for research through the City Library & Archives. The public can access the online Album Artwork Gallery and explore the W. W. Law Collection finding aids online at www.savannahga.gov/wwlaw.

For more information about the “Law & Music” exhibit and the W. W. Law Collection, please contact Luciana Spracher, Library & Archives Director, at (912) 651-6411 or Lspracher@savannahga.gov.

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