NORMAN — A portion of legendary folk singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie’s comprehensive archives, including the original, handwritten version of Guthrie’s landmark anthem, “This Land Is Your Land,” will be available for viewing at the grand opening of the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Okla. at 1 p.m. April 27 at 102 East Brady in Tulsa. The 12,000-square-foot center will feature state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits on Guthrie’s life, art and creative legacy and will include Oklahoma’s only permanent exhibit on the Dust Bowl.
The Woody Guthrie Center’s permanent exhibit on Guthrie will feature selections of original items from the Woody Guthrie Archives, including Guthrie’s handwritten copy of “This Land Is Your Land,” along with lyrics, artwork, photographs, personal notebooks, letters, postcards and some of his rare, never-before-seen musical instruments. The exhibit will also feature objects from some musicians who were influenced by Guthrie, including Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, John Cohen and Jimmy LaFave, among others.
The Woody Guthrie Archives were brought to Tulsa by George Kaiser Family Foundation, who purchased them in 2011 from Woody Guthrie Publications in New York.
“We are thrilled to finally announce the opening of the Woody Guthrie Center, here in his home state of Oklahoma,” said Ken Levit, executive director of GKFF. “This archive will be available to scholars and researchers so that we can continue to tell the story of this remarkable Oklahoman for generations to come. The Guthrie family has inspired us with their loving and creative stewardship of these materials, and we are proud to provide a permanent home for this incredible collection in the Brady Arts District of Tulsa, Okla.”
The Woody Guthrie Archives contains more than 10,000 items of primary and secondary source material, including more than 3,000 song lyrics, rare books by and about Guthrie, more than 700 pieces of artwork, letters and postcards, manuscripts and personal journals, more than 500 photographs, handwritten songbooks, Guthrie’s annotated record collection and personal papers detailing family matters, his World War II military service and musical career.