The B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library, C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University is one of 55 sites throughout the United States selected to host the traveling exhibit “A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs,” This colorful new exhibit celebrates the many Jewish composers of the “American Songbook,” such as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, and their great contributions to American popular culture during the period 1910-1965.  This exhibit has been developed by Nextbook, Inc., and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, and is further enriched with a display of original movie posters from the library’s Special Collections Department, and original drawings and sketches by internationally renowned artist, Dan Christoffel.

Using images from Broadway musicals, classic films, and personal collections, “A Fine Romance” tells the story of Jewish artists who created songs of wit, sophistication and optimism through America’s ups and downs during the 20th century. The best songwriters combined a genius for melody, a talent for pairing it with the perfect words, and an ability to connect with a wide audience.  A high percentage of them were Jewish, from families that had immigrated to America in the 1800s or fled pogroms and persecution in Europe at the turn of the century. Their witty and romantic songs - “Body and Soul,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Thou Swell,” “That Old Black Magic,” “It Had to Be You” - became beloved classics that remain enduring elements of American popular culture.

Several lectures, performances, and educational activities are scheduled during the duration of this exhibit from March 8 - April 12, 2012. Please see Exhibits/Events information.

The exhibit A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965 was developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life


“A library is a wondrous place, a storehouse of humanity’s collected wisdom and a portal
to global knowledge. Humanity lives within its walls and its riches, when displayed, illuminate life itself.”
                                                                          Dr. David J. Steinberg, President, Long Island University