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Armstrong Museum Acquires Largest Private Collection of Louis Armstrong Memorabilia


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Queens College

(718) 997-5597

Deslyn Downes Dyer
Louis Armstrong House

Phil Leshin
Louis Armstrong Foundation
(914) 234-6230



Thursday, November 3, 2005

4 - 5 pm Media-only preview of Treasures from the Jack Bradley Collection
5 - 7 pm Exhibit opening and reception attended by many jazz VIPs
WHERE: Louis Armstrong House, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, Queens
WHAT: The Louis Armstrong House & Archives administered by Queens College is acquiring the Jack Bradley-Louis Armstrong Collection, the world’s foremost private collection of Armstrong memorabilia. The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation has awarded Queens College a grant of $480,000 (payable over six years) to acquire the collection. Selected highlights will be shown in the new exhibit I Can’t Give You Anything but Love—Treasures from the Jack Bradley Collection on view from November 3, 2005 to February 26, 2006.

BACKGROUND: Jack Bradley enjoyed a close personal friendship with Louis Armstrong and served as Armstrong’s personal photographer. For more than 50 years Bradley has also been a loving and astute collector of Armstrong-related material. His vast personal collection includes dozens of 16 mm films; almost every commercially released Armstrong recording; letters and manuscripts penned by Armstrong; Armstrong postage stamps from 14 nations, as well as sheet music, lobby cards, posters, figurines, commemorative coins, and even Armstrong’s bedroom slippers and sport coats. Especially exciting are hundreds of photographs, many of which capture Armstrong backstage or at home and have never been seen by researchers.

Says Dan Morgenstern, Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies: “The Jack Bradley-Louis Armstrong Collection cannot be replicated. It is the result of a very special relationship between its subject, Louis Armstrong, and its compiler, and of decades of dedicated work by that compiler.”

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation was founded in 1969 by Armstrong who said, “I want to give back to the world some of the goodness the world gave me.” The Foundation is dedicated to fostering music history programs in schools; assisting and contributing to music education programs and events in schools, libraries, and for the general public; sponsoring programs at all school levels that aid students in developing music skills; and participating in scholarships, student exchanges and grants. Thanks to the vision and support of the Foundation, today the Louis Armstrong House (donated to New York City by the Foundation) is a historic house museum administered by Queens College. In addition, Armstrong’s vast personal collection of tapes, papers, scrapbooks, trumpets, etc. (donated to Queens College by the Foundation) is available to the public through the Louis Armstrong Archives on the campus of Queens College.

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love—Treasures from the Jack Bradley Collection will be on view in the exhibit area of the Louis Armstrong House Museum located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens. Entrance to the exhibit is included with museum admission: $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, free for members. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday-Friday and from 12 noon to 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays. It is closed on some holidays. Telephone: 718-478-8274. Website:


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Deputy Director of News Services
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(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
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Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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