508 Park isEncore

Museum of Street Culture

The Museum of Street Culture features permanent and rotating exhibitions that link the growth of blues, jazz, country and other styles of vernacular music with the living history of tramp, hobo, and homeless art. It will permeate different areas of the 508 Park building with an interior design that integrates the overall mission of The Stewpot and First Presbyterian Church of Dallas with the exhibition of photographs, drawings, paintings, and sculpture, as well as historical artifacts, ephemera and multimedia, including interactive touch screens, sound installation, and video monitors and projection.
Vocalion 78 Record Label Released from the June 1937 Recording Session
1940 Vocalion Hillbilly and
Race Records Catalog

The gallery/exhibition related to music history will focus on the period from the opening of the building in 1929 as the Vitagraph Film Exchange to Robert Johnson’s recording session for Brunswick/ARC in 1937, but will also examine the growth of the recording industry, considering historical antecedents (i.e., Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson, Eck Robertson) and different styles of music (i.e., music performed by African Americans, Anglo Americans, Mexican Americans, Czechs, Italians, Jews, and immigrant groups during the 1920s and ’30s).

Some of the artworks and artifacts to be presented include drawings and other works on paper, historical photographs (publicity stills of noted musicians, as well as documentation by Farm Security Administration photographers and others), sheet music, 78 rpm records, record advertisements in newspapers and magazines and ephemera, such as handbills and broadsides related parades, street preachers, medicine shows, and sidewalk vendors.

The exhibition related to homeless art will also explore the period from 1929 to 1937, but will delve more deeply into the social and cultural context of Dallas and the nation during this period of the Great Depression. It will focus on the creative expressions of tramps and hobos, and the issues of dislocation, migration, and the conditions that led to and continue to perpetuate homelessness.

Artworks and artifacts to be displayed include drawings by Jerry Bywaters and other artists, tramp art, hobo marks, and panels that not only reproduce period graphics depicting homeless life (i.e., bread lines, train cars, and squatter camps) and short, but also present poignant historical texts (such as vagrancy laws and Jim Crow laws) in their original fonts as found in City of Dallas records.

Rotating exhibitions will present the legacy of 508 Park, featuring musicians and artists (historical, contemporary, homeless) whose work was and continues to be influenced by the performers, such as Robert Johnson, the Light Crust Doughboys, and others who recorded in the building.

warner brothers
35mm Film Transportation Can previously owned by Warner Brothers Pictures
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Perfect 78 Record Sleeve c. 1937 Vocalion 78 Record Sleeve c. 1936 Vocalion 78 Record Sleeve c. 1939
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Vocalion 78 Record Label Released from the June 1937 Recording Session Vocalion 78 Record Label Released from the June 1937 Recording Session Vocalion 78 Record Label Released from the June 1937 Recording Session

Museum of Street Culture Wish List Items for Donation or Loan

  • 1934 - 36 era recording equipment that use the new lacquer master discs.
    (Any help in determining the correct models would be highly appreciated.)
              Recording lathe
              Microphones with stands (possibly Altec or RCA)

  • 1930’s Music Machine (juke box) for 78 records

  • 1930’s office furniture
               File cabinets
               Storage cabinets

  • 1920’s - 30s instrument models played by artists recorded in Dallas by ARC
               Acoustic – guitar, banjo, fiddle, madoline
               Electric – Lap Steel

  • 78 records by Robert Johnson and other artists recorded in Dallas by ARC

  • Vocalion and Brunswick record label ephemera from 1930’s (catalogs, flyers, etc.)

  • 78 record sleeves that mention ARC (Brunswick, Vocalion, Perfect, Melotone)

  • 78 Columbia Phonograph from 1934 - 1938

  • 1930s upright piano, maybe art deco styled

  • Book Set - Ethnic Music on Records: A Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893-1942.  University of Illinois Press, 1990., All seven volumes of this First Edition.

  • Tramp / Hobo / Folk art from Depression era
               Hobo nickels
               Notched wood tramp art
  • 508 Park is a project of The Stewpot which operates under the 501(c)(3) of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

    Click here to print a copy of the museum wish list