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HISTORY LIVES.....HISTORY IS RELEVANT AND NOW
A Visit with Bill Doggett,Exhibitions Curator, Archivist and Lecturer March 1st, 2015 at The Fifth Annual San Francisco History Expo
Marian Anderson's 1939 Easter Sunday Lincoln Memorial concert has a deep poignance for Bill Doggett's Philadephia rooted family.
My mother, the young Frances Clarke Brown would recount for decades how she glowed seeing her idol, Marian Anderson.....only 20 feet away at her June 1940 graduation ceremony from Temple University.
At Temple University's June 1940 commencement ceremony, Marian Anderson received her first honorary doctorate, one year after.....the legendary Lincoln Memorial Concert.
In the next 10 years, Frances Clarke Brown Doggett and her husband, Reverend John N Doggett Jr would co-sponsor Roland Hayes, the pioneering Black Tenor of the 1920s-30s in a sold out recital in 1951.
Roland Hayes Recital, April 1st, 1951 Pasadena,California presented by The WSCS of Scott United Methodist Church, Reverend John N Doggett Jr, Pastor *concert photo, program and reception photo w/ my father Rev. Doggett in center
Bill Doggett is a curator, lecturer and independent archivist specializing in African American performing arts history and the history of the journey to emancipation of African Americans utilizing elements of his rich Archive of rare historic newspapers,documents and recordings.
Doggett has also had a professional archival source relationship with Carnegie Hall, The Indianapolis Symphony, The University of California, Santa Barbara and Stanford University Archive of Recorded Sound. Letters relating to those relationship are below
Debuting as an Exhibitions Curator in 2009, he has curated four exhibitions in the San Francisco Bay Area showcasing key elements of his Performing Arts and Historic Newspapers Archive.
Additionally, he has showcased choice elements of his Archive in
- a provocative educational film titled Emancipation Proclamation: The Journey To Freedom begun in 2012 and completed in Summer 2015. This film was web premiered during The Fall of 2015 and is hosted by The International Center for American Music, headquartered at The University of Florence, Italy
- A commissioned Project of The Library of Congress, Recorded Sound division for The National Jukebox to launch during 2017
SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY DAYS 2018
A Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr
Doggett's exhibitions are
- The African American Concert Singer:1900-1960:From Negro Spirituals to the Concert Hall and Opera Stage: February-April 2009,San Francisco Main Library
- Porgy and Bess:From Broadway to San Francisco: May-July 2009 Grand Foyer, San Francisco Opera House
- The Underground Railroad:Songs of Hope and Freedom, A Tribute to the 150th Anniversary of The Civil War 1861-2011, San Francisco Main Library June-August 2011
- The Journey to Freedom: Emancipation Proclamation: December 2012-March 2013: The San Francisco Bay view Opera House
Related to these exhibitions, he has given lectures showcasing highlights of his archive of antiquarian books,rare music scores and early sound recordings related to these exhibitions at The Koret Auditorium, Main San Francisco Library, The Trevor School of Performing Arts, University of California, Irvine and The African American Museum and Library at Oakland.
He has also been a featured lecturer at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and University of Denver during 2013 and Conference Presenter for The Association for Recorded Sound Collections 2014-2015 with conference affiliations with The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of Pittsburgh and University of Indiana, Bloomington.
==>Newsflash For three consecutive years 2014-2016, Bill Doggett has been a showcase exhibitor in the annual San Francisco Historical Society and Museum's Bay Area wide History EXPO at the Old Mint. The Old Mint is one of the few buildings to survive the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
View the special feature on Doggett below
Among his numerous expertises, Doggett is a specialist in African American Concert Singer/Opera History.
In late summer 2015, The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society published his impressive treatise in their Journal, The Argonaut. Available on line in his Store, the 16 page archival document feature is titled Emancipation Proclamation: African American Concert Singers in San Francisco 1880-2000:In Paradisum
Dogett has contributed to and has been quoted in important Arts feature articles including October 5th 2013 piece on the closing of New York City Opera, an opera company engaged in social entrepreneurship that provided critical agency to African American singers and composers
Porgy and Bess:From Broadway to San Francisco
Under the leadership of The Museum of Performance and Design and San Francisco Opera with special loans from The Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trust, the exhibition in the Grand Foyer of San Francisco Opera House was one of the most well received exhibitions in recentmemory at San Francisco Opera.
The exhibition broke ground in inaugurating ipod looping technology for a listener booth and a film viewing station. The listening station showcased continuous looping of Gershwin's rarely heard private rehearsal recordings of Porgy from the 1935 Boston production.
The film viewing station showcased continuous looping of the rare silent film on loan by The Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trust of highlights of a 1935 Broadway rehearsal shot by the assistant conductor to Alexander Smallens and snipets of the Opening Night party with George Gershwin and the Cast.
The exhibition artifacts were comprised of items from Doggett's archive embellished by originals and copies from The Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trust, The Museum of Performance and Design and San Francisco Opera.
The Underground Railroad: Songs of Hope and Freedom,The Civil War @150 years*
Rich in rare artifacts and 1906-1930 sound recordings from Doggett's collection, this exhibition explored the interconnection of song traditions of enslaved Africans, the coded symbolism of Negro Spirituals and the stories of valiant men and women who assisted enslaved Africans in their escape to the North and Canada 1830-1860.
A lecture at The Koret Auditorium on July 2nd showcased several early78rpm recordings of Negro Spirituals and Sermons/Singing featuring the rare first recording of Joshua Fit De Battle of Jericho by The Harrod Singers, 1922 on the rare black owned Harlem label,Black Swan.
The African American Concert Singer 1900-1962
Sponsored by The African American Center of San Francisco Library with a closing reception co-sponsored by The Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee was a well received overview exhibition of the stories of known and under known singers set in special context of San Francisco Bay Area history.
The exhibition spotlighted the untold and important story of 1930s-50s San Francisco Opera Concert Manager, Paul Posz' stewardship in nurturing the careers of aspiring and established black concert and opera singers.
Posz' stewardship combined with the concurrent leadership of San Francisco Opera General Directors, Gaetano Merola, Kurt Herbert Adler and San Francisco Symphony Conductor, Pierre Monteux during the 1940s and 1950s ushered in a golden age which embraced and fostered the careers of promising young singers such as Mattiwilda Dobbs, Leontyne Price, the late Shirley Verrett and Leona Mitchell.
The exhibition showcased highlights from Doggett's archives and featured his original text.
University of California Irvine, Claire Trevor School of The Arts,2012 African American Art Song Alliance Conference.
I presented the powerpoint lecture, In Paradism, African American Concert Singers in San Francisco, 1900-1960, a full semester course reduced to 50 minutes focused on the critical importance of San Francisco at the Turn of The Century thru 1960s as destination and golden age for singers/performers of African descent. Below a small sampling of the many slides in my presentation.
This is a traveling lecture which can be configured for regional specifics. Email me to discuss booking me at your university or historical society.
San Francisco Bay Area Friends of Negro Spirituals 9th Annual Negro Spirituals Heritage Day: 2012 Heritage Keepers Award for Exhibition Curation and advocacyof The Negro Spiritual
The Journey To Freedom:The Emancipation Proclamation at 150 Years
The Bayview Opera House, San Francisco,underwritten by The San Francisco Foundation and The San Francisco Arts Commission, December 2012 -February 2013
* Contact me directly regarding viewing the virtual tour of this exhibition.* The virtual tour is provided for the purpose of a "Portfolio showcase" and for hiring/retaining my curator exhibition services