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Harry Ransom Center eNews June 2009 eNews
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Film still from Props for Robert De Niro's props

Many of the props and costumes that Robert De Niro used and wore in his films are housed in his collection at the Ransom Center, including a bikini cigarette lighter used in Cape Fear (1991) and a jacket he wore in Taxi Driver (1976). LEARN MORE about how De Niro used these items to establish and portray his characters.


Research fellows discuss their work at the Ransom Center

Various fellowship recipients discuss their research in the photography, manuscript, and performing arts collections at the Center with topics ranging from "We Bear Witness: Photographers Responding to War" to "Minstrel Shows and Twentieth-Century African-American Women's Plays." WATCH VIDEOS.


Ransom Center receives Big Read grant

The Ransom Center received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host The Big Read in Austin. The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 30 selections from U.S. and world literature. The Ransom Center's Big Read focuses on Edgar Allan Poe, in conjunction with the Center's fall exhibition From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe. LEARN MORE.


Volunteer opportunities

Gain a behind-the-scenes perspective of the Ransom Center and help us achieve our public outreach goals. The Ransom Center is looking for friendly individuals to serve as docents and visitor services volunteers this fall. Visitor services volunteers welcome and orient visitors to the Ransom Center, while docents give tours of the exhibitions after receiving training. Positions require a commitment of 4 hours per week through May. Please complete and return a volunteer application by August 1. On the application, check the box for “Docent” and/or “Visitor Services.”


In memoriam: Fleur Cowles (1908-2009)

In 1950, Fleur Cowles created Flair, a magazine that became a landmark in publishing. Flair's provocative design, enlightened feature articles, and sophisticated advertising layouts left an indelible mark on publishing history. Learn more about Cowles's life and WATCH VIDEOS about her work and inspiration.



Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird
Through January 3, 2010

On Display: Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

The Ransom Center celebrates the homecoming of one of its most famous and frequently borrowed artworks. VIEW DOCUMENTARY about the painting's return to the Ransom Center after its travels around the world.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see the work of another important Latin American artist. Francisco Matto: The Modern and the Mythic is on display in Austin at the Blanton Museum of Art through September 27.


Closing August 2

The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West

Featuring 200 items from the Ransom Center’s extensive collections, the exhibition narrates The Rubáiyát’s history through such items as Persian manuscripts, miniature editions, and illustrated parodies. LEARN MORE or JOIN the Omar Khayyám Club on Facebook.


Fritz Henle: In Search of Beauty

This retrospective exhibition celebrates the art of freelance photographer Fritz Henle (1909-1993). LEARN MORE. Also, read recent coverage about the exhibition in the New York Times and The Austin Chronicle.


*To install the hundreds of objects for our upcoming exhibitions, the Ransom Center Galleries will be temporarily closed from August 3 through September 7, when the new exhibitions open to the public. The Gutenberg Bible and the First Photograph are on permanent display in the lobby. Frida Kahlo's Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird also remains on display.



Adventures of Prince AchmedTHURSDAY, JULY 23, 7 P.M.
ORIENTALIST SILENTS Lotte Reiniger’s film The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), one of the earliest animated features ever produced. VIEW TRAILER.


*There are no public programs scheduled at the Ransom Center during August.


Great Omar bookmark

The Curse of the "Great Omar"

Around 1909, bookbinder Francis Sangorski became possessed with the idea of creating the greatest binding of all time: a jeweled edition of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám with illustrations by Elihu Vedder. The magnificent book was created and contained almost 1,200 jewels, but the book and its binder seemed doomed from the beginning. WATCH this video and hear curators tell the tragic story of what happened to the greatest binding ever created.


July/August 2009


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Masthead image:
(Detail) Film still from The Adventures of Prince Achmed.
News image:
Film still from Taxi Driver. Robert De Niro collection.
Exhibitions image:
Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954)
Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940
Oil on canvas, 61.25 cm x 47 cm
© 2009 Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust. Av Cinco de Mayo No. 2, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtemoc 06059, Mexico, DF
Public Programs image:
Film still from The Adventures of Prince Achmed.
Insider's Perspective image:
(Detail) of "Great Omar" bookmark.

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