Old Man River:  History Along the MississippiApril 19-November 2, 2003

The Arts Along the River


Bald eagle and alligator crossing sign
The Upper vs. The Lower Mississippi
entertainment exhibit section
Artifacts and images on display from many sources, including:
~ Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul MN
~ www.art.com
~ Jim Henson Interactive, www.muppets.com
~ A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition.

"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known."
- Garrison Keillor

From vampires conjured up by New Orleans author Anne Rice, to Popeye the Sailor Man created by Elzie Segar of Chester, Illinois, Mississippi River entertainers have contributed greatly to the American arts through radio, TV, movies, comic strips and puppet shows. Giving voice to feelings of fear, inferiority, loneliness, and embarrassment, they have helped Americans to both shiver and laugh at themselves.

Public radio's Garrison Keillor brought "A Prairie Home Companion" to the airwaves, filled with down-home Minnesota humor, live bluegrass music, and commercials for imaginary products. Who "turned the world on with her smile?" Mary Richards on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," still reeling from her boss' comment, "You got spunk … I hate spunk."

"Good Grief!" cries poor, luckless Charlie Brown in the enormously popular "Peanuts" comic strip. The "round-headed kid" was the alter ego of his Minnesota creator, Charles Schulz, who once believed he was such a nobody that he felt invisible. Down in Greenville, Mississippi, Jim Henson's alter ego was his puppet, Kermit the Frog, who gently chided Americans on many issues through "The Muppet Show," reminding us that "It Ain't Easy Being Green."

Through convoluted irony, sarcastic asides, wry comedy, or heart-warming silliness, Mississippi-bred entertainers have influenced the way Americans see themselves, each other, and the world.

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Did you know … ?
Actor Morgan Freeman loves the blues, and opened his own blues club in his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi - famous for the crossroad of Highways 61 and 49 where souls were sold to the devil. (See "Historic Legends")

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This section "The Arts Along the River" has the following related pages:

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2 men in a canoe
Early Exploration and Development
River Days
view of Bellview, Iowa
Riverfront Property
Civil War enenactors
Man vs. Man
Bald eagle and conservation officer
Man vs. Nature
You are here!jazz musician
The Arts Along the River
New Orleans graveyard
Legends and Spirits
View Selected Artifacts
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