home button
stephen foster button
use the collection
museum button
support us button
museum banner
About the museum button
directions button
Gift shop button
Private tours
School tours button

About the Museum

 

The Stephen Foster museum is housed in a 12-sided gothic chamber with stained glass windows designed by Charles Connick that illustrate various Foster songs. In Fall of 2009 we replaced the original, unsecure museum cases with state of the art, preservational quality cases that allow to put a more wide range of original materials on display. On display in the shrine in and around gothic-arched alcoves are exhibits about Foster's life, the types of music he composed over the course of his career, including his minstrel songs and parlor songs, the role of women in Foster's life, and how the music has continued to be used in the years since his death. The exhibits also explore Foster's stance on slavery, myths regarding Foster's life, and why many people find the songs offensive. In the Center of the room is an exhibit on Pittsburgh during Foster's lifetime and the role of slaves and endentured servants in the Foster family's life. The museum's sound system plays several recordings of Foster's songs, in a variety of styles.

 

In the near future we hope to add a digital display that will allow us to curate exhibits of our digitized materials as well as the work of students and researchers. 

 

 Originally conceived as a shrine, the museum is quite small and only takes 30 to 45 minutes to tour. Private tours are available and must be arranged two weeks in advance of your visit. The museum, however, includes a detailed narrative that makes it very easy to tour on your own.

 

 


The Center for American Music is part of the University of Pittsburgh Library System.
Copyright © 2014 Center for American Music. All content is protected by copyright and may not be copied and/or used for any purpose without written consent.

last updated April 13, 2020