This Land is Your Land:
The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie
Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibits Services
- Museum Exhibit
* Currently Closed
The Woody Guthrie Archives worked long hours with the Smithsonian Institution over a period of two years to curate the first ever museum exhibition about the life and legacy of Woody Guthrie. The script was developed and primarily drawn from Woodys own writings found in the Archives, with additional narratives contributed by various historians, friends and family members including Joe Klein, Pete Seeger and Alan Lomax.
The exhibition spans Woody's life from his birth in 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma, to his move to New York City in 1940; it follows his extensive travels throughout the land up until his death in 1967, culminating reflectively on the lasting influence that his life and music has had upon American musical culture. For example, in the last section of the exhibition, the topic of a specially produced video presents Woody's continuing influence on songwriters today with interviews of Billy Bragg
, Bruce Springsteen
, Ani DiFranco
and Corey Harris
original notebooks, diaries, song lyrics and photos are
viewed throughout to illustrate his prolific writing and
lifestyle. An abundance of original artwork, never before
exhibited, adds to our understanding of his artistry.
Memorabilia contributed by Guthrie family members includes
some of Woodys own instruments and personal effects.
In addition, carefully located audio stations within the
exhibition aids in contextualizing the "environment" further highlighting Woody's artistic process through
recorded performances of his own songs along with excerpts
of songs that helped to form his creative vision.
LAND IS YOUR LAND: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF WOODY GUTHRIE
HAS CLOSED INDEFINITELY
to all of those who were able to see the exhibit and learn
more about Woody Guthrie.