Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
View the exhibition online.

July 20, 2011

“I Love Lucy: An American Legend” Opens Aug. 4

The television show "I Love Lucy" developed from a confluence of talent, on-screen chemistry, behind-the-scenes skill, and -- in the words of the show’s producer, Jess Oppenheimer -- "unbelievably good luck."

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the show’s debut, the Library of Congress presents a new exhibition, "I Love Lucy: An American Legend." Free and open to the public, the exhibition opens Thursday, Aug. 4, and is on view through Jan. 28, 2012. Open from 8:30 a.m.– 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, the exhibition is located in the foyer outside the Performing Arts Reading Room on the first floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

"I Love Lucy: An American Legend" explores the show’s history through the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz family scrapbooks as well as photographs, scripts, printed and manuscript music and other documents from the Library of Congress.

The idea for "I Love Lucy" originated when CBS considered transferring its successful radio program, "My Favorite Husband," starring Ball (1911–1989), to the then-new medium of television. Ball’s real-life husband, Arnaz (1917–1986), became her costar.

Featured items in the exhibition include a manuscript drum part for "Babalu" from the 1940s and early scrapbook photographs of the young Arnaz and Ball in Hollywood. Also on view will be items from the Jess Oppenheimer Collection, including a copy of the original concept and receipt for copyright registration for "I Love Lucy" (1951). All scrapbooks pages are from the Library’s Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

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PR 11-136
ISSN 0731-3527

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