Programs and Playbills 1904 - 1967

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Scope and Content Note: The period 1904-1908 was a transitional era, during which BAM’s new building location was planned and built, and BAM productions took place in different venues. BAM reopened in the fall of 1908 at its current location in Fort Greene. From its reopening through the Great Depression, much of BAM’s programming was dominated by the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences’ (BIAS) educational courses and lecture series. From the Depression through World War II and the 1950s, the Academy continued to serve as a locus for Brooklyn community, even as Brooklyn changed rapidly. After World War II, Brooklyn shared the growing problems of other urban centers throughout America, and BAM’s audience and support base declined. Many star performers and personalities visited BAM during this period, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, Gustav Mahler, Gertrude Stein, Martha Graham, and Rudolf Nureyev (who gave his American debut at BAM). In spite of this, youth classes for the Brooklyn Academy school and martial arts instruction were regularly booked into performance spaces throughout the 50s and 60s in order to make ends meet.

This series includes programs and playbills from the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s second building at 30 Lafayette Street. It opened on January 16, 1908. Also included are a small amount of programs (1904 - 1908) that were presented by the Brooklyn Academy of Music at different locations before the 30 Lafayette building was completed.