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Reading Room

Fellowship applications due February 1

The Ransom Center is now accepting applications for its 2013–2014 research fellowships in the humanities. The application deadline is February 1, 2013. More than 50 fellowships are awarded annually by the Ransom Center to support research projects in all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history. LEARN MORE or VIEW VIDEOS of fellows discussing their work in the collections.


Seeking your input on exhibitions and programs

To help us continue to provide compelling and engaging exhibitions and events, we are interested in your opinions. Please share your thoughts in this SURVEY, compiled and administered by an independent consultant. Everyone who completes the survey by 5 p.m. CST on Monday, December 17, will be entered into a drawing for a Ransom Center prize package. Thank you for your participation. Please complete the survey only once.


Share the treasures of the Ransom Center: Purchase a gift membership

Still have names to check off your holiday shopping list?  A gift membership is a wonderful way to introduce friends and family to the treasures of the Ransom Center. Members receive a year of benefits, including invitations to exhibition opening parties; subscriptions to the print newsletter, Ransom Edition; and opportunities for private, behind-the-scenes access to the collections. All gift memberships come packaged in an “I Have Seen the Future” totebag. Purchase your membership by Friday, December 14, to receive it in time for the holidays. LEARN MORE.


Purchase Norman Bel Geddes merchandise

Visit the Ransom Center before Sunday, January 6 to purchase “I Have Seen the Future” t-shirts, totebags, and buttons. Also available are postcards featuring images of Bel Geddes’s designs, a t-shirt featuring Bel Geddes’s blueprint for a streamlined car, and the book Norman Bel Geddes Designs America (Abrams). These items are on sale for a limited time, so purchase them at the visitor desk or in our ONLINE STORE.


Avoid the cultural cliff

Make an end-of-the-year gift now, and your tax-deductible donation will support the Ransom Center’s upcoming exhibitions. LEARN MORE.


Enter to win a signed Tom Stoppard work

The Ransom Center, which holds Tom Stoppard’s collection, is celebrating the release of the film Anna Karenina, for which Stoppard wrote the screenplay. On the Ransom Center’s Facebook page, identify your favorite Stoppard work: Indian Ink, The Real Thing, Jumpers, Travesties, Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead, Hapgood, or Arcadia. By doing so, you will be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of your selection. ENTER TO WIN.


Save-the-Date: Join the Ransom Center to attend “Face to Face”

Celebrate the opening of our upcoming exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass on Friday, February 15, 2013. Guests will enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, a first glimpse of the exhibition, an Arnold Newman-inspired photo booth, and more. Become a member now to receive your complimentary ticket and valet parking. Non-members may order tickets to the event for $20 (valet parking included). JOIN, RENEW, or ORDER TICKETS now.


  CURRENT EXHIBITION - Closing January 6

I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America

I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America

Norman Bel Geddes (1893–1958) was a designer, futurist, and urban planner who sought to transform modern American society through design and his dynamic vision of the future. Many products and practices now taken for granted can be traced directly to Bel Geddes. When you drive on an interstate highway, attend a multimedia Broadway show, dine in a sky-high revolving restaurant, or watch a football game in an all-weather stadium, you owe a debt of gratitude to Bel Geddes.


Bel Geddes focused on theater design early in his career and then became an innovative leader in industrial design, popularizing the concept of streamlining. He produced streamlined designs for products and ideas as diverse as home appliances, flying cars, and floating airports. Futurama, Bel Geddes’s best-known design for the 1939–1940 New York World’s Fair, was a giant model of a city in 1960. Visitors to the popular installation donned buttons boldly proclaiming “I Have Seen the Future.”


The exhibition showcases Bel Geddes’s working process for both unrealized projects and completed designs using photographs and models drawn almost entirely from his extensive archive housed at the Ransom Center. Accompanying the exhibition is the book Norman Bel Geddes Designs America (Abrams). VIEW VIDEO PREVIEW or LEARN MORE.


Free docent-led tours are offered Tuesdays at noon, Saturdays at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. For groups of 10 or more, GROUP TOURS are available.


*To install the hundreds of objects for our spring exhibition, the Ransom Center Galleries will be temporarily closed from January 7 until February 12, when the new exhibition opens. The Gutenberg Bible is on permanent display in the lobby. The First Photograph is on loan but will return to the Ransom Center in the spring.




READING The Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin hosts readings by writers and visiting professors Jim Crace and Anthony Giardina. Crace’s archive resides at the Ransom Center. VIEW VIDEOS of Crace discussing the creative process.


SCREENING The Norman Bel Geddes–influenced film Things to Come (1936), written by H. G. Wells and directed by William Cameron Menzies.


Please note there are no public programs scheduled for January.



English Honors seminar course on David Foster Wallace gives undergraduates a look into Wallace’s archive

Undergraduate intern Emily Neie writes about her experience working with archival materials in a seminar class on David Foster Wallace’s work and how it deepened her understanding of his writing. LEARN MORE.


December 2012/January 2013


Masthead image:
(Detail) Film still from Things to Come (1936).
News image:
Reading Room at the Harry Ransom Center. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Exhibitions image:
Graphic identity for I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America.
Public Programs image:
Jim Crace during a visit to the Ransom Center. Photo by Pete Smith.
Insider's Perspective image:
Students view materials from the David Foster Wallace archive. Photo by Pete Smith.

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