Exhibits:  The Sheridan Libraries and Museums
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  • Tags: Peabody Conservatory

Because of her race, soprano Anne Wiggins Brown was not allowed to enroll at the Peabody Conservatory as a college student in 1928, and enrolled at Juilliard instead. In 1998, she received the George Peabody Medal for her contribution to music in…

Ellis Larkins was a childhood piano prodigy from Baltimore, MD. He was famous within Baltimore at a very young age, making his debut with the City Colored Orchestra in 1934 at the age of six. Although taught by Peabody faculty members, Larkins was…

In 1984, the year before Ellis Larkins received an honorary Bachelor's Degree from The Johns Hopkins University, his wife, Crystal Larkins, sent this letter to Robert Pierce, Director of the Peabody Conservatory.

In 1936, young pianist Ellis Larkins performed this recital at the Phipps Auditorium (likely at Johns Hopkins Hospital) for the benefit of the Peabody Institute. Larkins was used to raise funds for Peabody despite their refusal to accept him to the…

In 1943, the Baltimore Adult Activities Council held a roundtable discussion at the Enoch Pratt Library, addressing the topic of racial prejudice and how to teach children in a way that would lead to better race relations.

In 1952, Conservatory Dean Virginia Carty received a letter from Walter E. Hager, President of Wilson Teachers College in Washington, D.C., as a follow up to a 1950 Regional Conference on Discrimination in College Administration. Hager asked for a…

In May of 1951, Institute President William L. Marbury sent this letter to Conservatory Director Reginald Stewart addressing the issue of distrust of the administration in the student body.

The Peabody Conservatory student body submitted this 20-page document to the administration following the firing of a beloved faculty member, Madame Renée Longy. It includes many complaints and incidents that were contributing to a negative…

Paul A. Brent, the first African-American student to enroll at the Peabody Conservatory, graduated with a Teacher’s Certificate in Piano in the class of 1953. In this photo, he is second from the right on the back row.

In January of 1954, Reginald Stewart mentioned the idea of opening a branch of the Conservatory at Douglass High School for African-American students. Peabody President William Marbury, Preparatory Dean Leah Thorpe, and Baltimore City School…
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