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Grace Moore Papers

Identifier: MS-2341

The Grace Moore Papers, 1916-1991, contains forty-one items, including newspaper clippings and letters. Many of the letters are to her friend Ben A. Bower from Moore and his friends, Bessie Garrison and Gert.

Series I: Correspondence, 1916-1931, includes 21 letters and envelopes. Fifteen are from Grace Moore to her friend Ben A. Bower of Tennessee. Six of these items date to 1916 or 1917, but the rest are undated. There is one letter from 1916 from Bower to his friend Rolf about Grace, who sure is a queen. The items from 1918 and 1919 are from Bower's friends, Bessie Garrison and Gert. There is also a letter to Mrs. Moore from a London printing company in 1938 and an invitation to Mr. and Mrs. Boyd for the wedding of Moore to Valentin Parera in 1931.

Series II: Newspaper clippings, 1931-1991, contains several copies of articles about Grace Moore's 1937 visit to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and about her death in a plane crash on January 26, 1947. Nine of these twenty items date between 1931 and 1947. There is also a program her the world premier in Knoxville, Tenn., of the movie about her life, entitled So This is Love (1953). Three clippings do not have dates. The rest of the documents are copies of newspaper clippings from 1984 to 1991. All pertain to the opera singer or her hometown Jellico, Tenn., except one from 1987 about the death of Ben A. Bower's friend Bessie Keener Rickens Garrison.

For more information on Grace Moore, see MS.1025 (Grace Moore Scrapbooks, 1875-1955) and MS.1111 (Grace Moore Papers, 1930-1981).


  • 1916-1991

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.1 Linear Feet


The Grace Moore Papers, 1916-1991, contains forty-one items. The first series of letters are primarily to Ben A. Bower from Moore and his friends, Bessie Garrison and Gert. The second series of newspaper clippings pertain to Moore, her 1937 trip to Knoxville, Tenn., her death in 1947, and her hometown Jellico, Tenn.

Biographical/Historical Note

Nicknamed the Tennessee Nightingale, opera singer Grace Moore was born December 5, 1898 or 1901, in Slabtown, Tenn., and raised in Jellico, Tenn. She studied singing and music theory at Ward-Belmont College in Nashville, Tenn., and studied in Washington, D.C. Around 1920, Moore moved to New York and debuted in 1928 at the Metropolitan Opera in La Boheme. Between 1930 and 1938 she starred in several movies, one of which garnered her an Academy Award nomination. She toured Europe and sang at the Met several times throughout her life, and in 1931 Moore married Spanish actor Valentin Parera in Cannes, France. On January 26, 1947, the plane Moore was riding crashed and exploded during takeoff in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her body was flown to Chattanooga, Tenn., and buried.

Benjamin Alleman Bower from Knoxville, Tenn., attended the University of Tennesse from 1913 through 1916. He was a member of the basketball and track teams, the drama, agricultural and German clubs, and the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.


Collection consists of a single folder divided into two series: Correspondence and Newspaper Clippings.

Acquisition Note

Collection contains materials donated by The Bower Family and Margaret Boyd McPherson in November 1991 and by Peggy Allen in March 1997.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA