Description W.C. Handy The Father of the Blues was born on November 16, 1873, in Florence, Alabama. He played with several bands and traveled throughout the Midwest and the South, learning about the African-American folk music that would become known as the blues. Handy later composed his own songs that would popularize the form and come to be major commercial hits, including 'St. Louis Blues,' 'Memphis Blues' and 'Aunt Hagar's Blues.' He died in New York City in 1958.
Kenneth Calvert, Saint Louis Member Since April 2009 Artist Statement Ken Calvert, painter, illustrator, graphic designer, and muralist was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his BFA degree from Lindenwood University. His work demonstrates an ability to handle difficult aspects of the natural world as well as a sensitivity to modernist innovations. Among his numerous national and international solo and group exhibition credits are Philadelphia, PA, Chicago, IL, Rio de Janeiro, Hampton University, Howard University and Morris Brown College. Calvert’s "Cultural Connections" exhibition opened at the Beach Institute and Savannah State University in Savannah Georgia, in 1998. His works were featured at the Vaughn Cultural Center in St. Louis in 1999. Following his acclaimed exhibition / lecture, “Through the Eyes of a Child” at the Missouri History Museum, Calvert returned to the Beach Institute in Georgia for a yet another solo exhibition in 2003. Calvert is credited with the cover painting for the Missouri Historical Society publication, "Discovering African American St. Louis". Amongst his Murals is “Cornerstones of Courage and Culture” at the St. Louis, City Hall. Calvert’s painting of Chokwe Chief Ndumba Tembo, is included in the Anheuser Busch “Great Kings and Queens of Africa Series”. He was the 1997 recipient of the "Romare Bearden Award" for artistic contributions to the St. Louis community.