From the City Dump to the Concert Halls, The Journey of the Manuel Areu Collection
Dr. Javier Lorenzo, a Richard E. Greenleaf Visiting Library Scholar, discusses the “Manuel Areu Project” of the UNM Honors College.
Looking for objects to use in his sculpture work, in 1952 artist Frederick Sommers discovered a collection of musical and drama manuscripts in a garbage dump in the town of Jerome, Arizona. This discovery was the beginning of the Manuel Areu Project, which has since entailed the documentation and preservation of these materials, among them scores and personal documents belonging to Manuel Areu (1845-1944). Areu, a composer, violinist, actor, and impresario, traveled in Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and the southwestern US. His recaptured materials illustrate his individual endeavors as well as the broader context of important social and political change.