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Johnny Mercer paintings reproduction collection

Identifier: M211

Scope and Content of the Records

The collection consists of photographic copies of 1 manuscript and 24 original watercolor paintings by Johnny Mercer. The works were copied via analog and digital photography by professional photographers Susan Einstein and Angela Hopper. The collection contains 26 transparencies by Einstein (25 color positives plus 1 duplicate color negative) and a CD-R containing 8 images taken by Hopper. All 8 paintings photographed by Hopper were also photographed by Einstein. Reference prints of all images by the photographers are available for research. Some of the prints of Einstein's images include information about the ownership of the original paintings.

Save for a portrait of his daughter labeled "Manny-poo," none of Mercer's paintings have titles supplied with their reproductions. In addition to the portrait of Amanda Mercer, the collection may include a portrait of Mercer's wife, Ginger. Subject matter of other paintings includes: landscapes (including mountain and desert scenes), views of houses and other structures (including a derrick and a train with a water tower), seascapes and a harbor scene, and figures (including a shepherd, fishermen and dancers). The collection includes an image of the holograph manuscript of "Come Rain or Come Shine" (inscribed by Mercer and composer Harold Arlen).


  • Creation: 1947, 1965-1966


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Historical Note about Johnny Mercer

John Herndon Mercer (1909-1976), a native of Savannah, Georgia, was one of the foremost figures of 20th century American popular music. His song catalog includes many numbers that have become American classics, and his activities as lyricist, composer, performer and businessman span a period of nearly five decades. Throughout his life, Mercer painted in watercolor for his own enjoyment and relaxation. Some of his paintings were made from photographs. Georgia State University Library, repository of Mercer's personal papers, coordinated a project to identify and make photographic copies of his paintings.


0.25 Linear Feet (in 6 folders)

Language of Materials



Prints, slides, transparencies, and digital images of 24 watercolor paintings by the American songwriter Johnny Mercer (1909-1976) plus one image of a manuscript. Subjects include family members and other figures, landscapes, and seascapes.

Off-Site Storage

Collection is stored offsite. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Acquisition Information

Collected by Georgia State University Library, 2004-2005.

Processing Information

Processed by William Hardesty at the file level, 2008.

Johnny Mercer's Paintings:
A Guide to the Collection of Reproductions at Georgia State University Library
William Hardesty
17 January 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)