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Image, Invention, and Imagination: A Series on Art & Community Through the Ages

May 28 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

On July 7, 1956, the librettist John Treville Latouche’s seminal American Opera The Ballad of Baby Doe premiered in Central City, Colorado. “It’s about love and It’s about money,” Latouche had joked, in predicting the public’s response to the Opera, “And there’s no combination an American audience likes more!” Today, The Ballad of Baby Doe is often cited as one of the most significant Operas in the American canon, but Latouche would never know just how right he had been. One month later, John Latouche was dead. He was 41.

Over the course of his short years, Latouche lived a remarkably dynamic life; like a brilliant star, he pulled some of the most important artistic figures of 20th-century American culture into his brief orbit. The story of the community that Latouche anchored features well-known characters such as composer Leonard Bernstein and artist Marcel Duchamp and local figures like Margarett McKean and Hammond Castle Museum’s own John Hays Hammond Jr.

In fact, through Latouche’s legacy, a curious assembly of artists, poets, and occultists, many of them Queer, came to assemble at Hammond Castle Museum in its founder’s final years. This is a story about the life of John Latouche, but it is also a story about love. About money. About art. About magick. About false accusations of murder, and more. This lecture, the final in Hammond Castle Museum’s May Series on Art & Community Through the Ages, will also serve as an introduction to Hammond Castle Museum’s June Pride Month programming.


May 28
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm