Louis Armstrong House Museum Welcomes First Curator
David L. Reese, the former Curator of Gracie Mansion and Resident Director of Gunston Hall, historic home of George Mason, joins Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) filling the newly created position of Curator as part of LAHM's Strategic Plan.
Mr. Reese joins the LAHM executive team with a Masters of Architectural History from the University of Virginia. His career highlights include serving as Museum Director of Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Gardens from 1981-1987, Curator of Gracie Mansion and Chief Officer of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy from 1987-2002 and Resident Director of Gunston Hall, the historic home of George Mason from 2003-2012. Mr. Reese authored "American Beaux Arts, 1870-1926" from The Elements of Style, a Practical Encyclopedia of Interior Architectural Detail published by Simon & Schuster in New York and by Mitchell Beazley Ltd. In London in addition he authored "Gracie Mansion" and "Inwood Park", entries in City Streets published by the Little Bookroom in New York.
Louis Armstrong House Museum has been serving the public since 2003 when it first opened its doors. The home was originally purchased by Louis and Lucille Armstrong in 1943 and Louis lived there until his death in 1971. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and a NYC Landmark in 1988, the home is preserved as if Louis and Lucille just stepped out for a minute giving visitors the feeling that they can sit down and have a cup of coffee with Satchmo himself.
The Museum contains an extensive collection of artifacts and furnishings that belonged to the Armstrongs and are displayed in their house, including a portrait of Louis painted by Tony Bennett in 1970. The custom-designed kitchen has been featured in architectural magazines all over the world. Rare and personal recordings of Louis Armstrong are integrated into the museum experience. The Museum holds the largest public archival collection in the world devoted to a single jazz musician. The Louis Armstrong House Museum serves as a backdrop to the story of the remarkable, improbable, life of Louis Armstrong.
The Museum will tap into Mr. Reese's experience to support its institutional mission. He assumes responsibility for the historic site's interpretation, operation and preservation. He will oversee three capital projects including a Partners In Preservation project to restore Louis's Garden. This important work will advance the institutional mission to operate the historic house museum; collect, preserve, catalog and make available to the public materials relating to the life and career of Louis Armstrong; and present public programs such as concerts, lectures, group tours and school trips that preserve and promote the cultural legacy of Louis Armstrong. The Museum attracts about 15,000 visitors a year. Its visitors come from New York City, across the United States and abroad.
"We are thrilled to have a museum professional of David's caliber on our team. David brings decades of experience to guide Louis Armstrong House Museum as we enter the next phase of our strategic plan," noted Michael Cogswell, Executive Director of Louis Armstrong House Museum.
"I am honored to be appointed Curator of the historic home of one of America's greatest musicians, and thrilled to have a new role in the cultural life of New York City," added Mr. Reese.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens, New York. The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm. It can be found online at www.LouisArmstrongHouse.org.