Smithsonian exhibit coming to Landrum

Published 5:19 pm Thursday, January 26, 2012

In this photo from the exhibit, blues “harpist” James Cotton throws heart and soul into his harmonica. Some call this basic blues instrument a “harp”; some call it a “Mississippi saxophone.” (photo by Kenji Oda)

Exhibit focuses on roots music
The Smithsonian is coming to Landrum.
A traveling exhibit known as New Harmonies will arrive at Landrum Library this fall, with plans for it to be on display from Aug. 4-Sept. 16.
“This particular exhibit is focused on roots music – we’re talking about Appalachian folk music, sacred music, country, jazz, blues – it covers the whole spectrum,” said Landrum Library Supervisor Lee Morgan. “We really wanted to host this so students and locals could have a chance to see something they might not have the opportunity to see otherwise.”
New Harmonies is part of the Smithsonian’s MOMS, or Museum on Main Street, section.
“The idea behind it is to bring the Smithsonian to rural areas in the country,” said Morgan. “They do that by having traveling exhibits that center on different topics.”
Landrum Library applied for a grant, for financial assistance in hosting events along with the exhibit, through the South Carolina Humanities Council and the Smithsonian. This exhibit, Morgan said, normally travels through one state at six different locations. South Carolina, however, had an overwhelming number of applications so the state was granted the exhibit for two years at 12 different sites.
Landrum Library applied for participation a year and a half ago and found out at the end of last year that it was selected to be one of six cities to host the exhibit in 2012. The closest the exhibit has come to Landrum was when it was presented in Gaffney in April 2011.

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