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Harry Ransom Center eNews June 2010 eNews
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B. J. Simmons web exhibition

Web exhibition explores B. J. Simmons & Co. costume designs 

The new web exhibition, A Tonic to the Imagination: Costume Designs for Stage and Screen by B. J. Simmons & Co., highlights the work of the British theatrical costumier company from 1889 to 1959. Founded in 1857, Simmons & Co. dominated costume preparation in London for more than 100 years. The exhibition explores the immense scope of the Simmons & Co. archive and is intended to encourage research in the collection. LEARN MORE.


Center acquires doctoral theses of anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss

The Ransom Center has acquired the manuscripts of anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss's major and minor doctoral theses. The typed theses, annotated with handwritten corrections, were presented by Lévi-Strauss at the Sorbonne University in Paris in 1948 upon completion of his doctorate in humanities. LEARN MORE.


Medieval and early modern manuscripts collection now accessible online

The Ransom Center has launched an online database for its medieval and early modern manuscripts collection. The medieval and early modern manuscripts collection contains 215 items dating from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries. The database includes more than 7,000 digital images of these items. LEARN MORE.


No wire hangers: Costumes in Robert De Niro collection receive a set of custom hangers

The Ransom Center’s preservation lab constructed 100 custom-made hangers for heavy coats and jackets in the De Niro collection. LEARN MORE and view a slideshow about how conservators constructed padded hangers that could properly support hanging costumes.


A new home for Finnegans Wake

Walter Wetzels, an emeritus professor in the Department of Germanic Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, recently donated a German translation of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake to the Ransom Center. In a blog post on Cultural Compass, he shares a bit of his history with the text. LEARN MORE.


More than 60 research fellowships awarded

The Ransom Center has awarded more than 60 research fellowships for 2010-11. The scholars, almost half of whom will be coming from abroad, will use Ransom Center materials to support projects with such titles as "William Faulkner's Early Career: A Chronology," "Cogs in the Dream Machine: Jack Harris and the Role of 'Still Men' in Promoting Hollywood Cinema," "Jimmy Hare and the Beginnings of Photojournalism" and "Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles." VIEW a map of of where all the scholars reside.


Take an exhibition survey about design for a chance to win

Help the Ransom Center plan an exhibition about design by answering the questions in this survey. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Those who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing to receive a first edition of The Brooklyn Museum of Art’s exhibition catalogue The Machine Age in America, 1918-1941TAKE survey.



Making Movies
Through August 1

Making Movies

Featuring items from the Ransom Center’s extensive film collections, Making Movies reveals the collaborative nature of the filmmaking process and focuses on how the artists involved—from writers to directors, actors to cinematographers—transform the written word into moving image.

Highlights include original scripts, storyboards, production photos, and call sheets, in addition to screenplays from The Third Man, North by Northwest, and Shakespeare in Love, and costumes from Gone With The Wind, An Affair to Remember, and Taxi Driver. LEARN MORE.


¡Viva! Mexico’s Independence

The year 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, pivotal events in Mexico’s struggle for self-governance. ¡Viva! Mexico’s Independence showcases materials from the Ransom Center’s collections, including the 1529 document appointing Hernán Cortés Captain General of New Spain; unpublished letters exchanged between Ferdinand Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, and his wife Carlotta; documentary photographs of the Mexican Revolution; and period broadsides illustrated by José Guadalupe Posada. Sponsored in part by ViaNovo. VIEW VIDEO of Rosalba Ojeda, Consul General of México in Austin, discussing the value of seeing original materials that illuminate these important milestones in Mexico's history.


At the Blanton Museum through August 1

Manuel Álvarez Bravo and His Contemporaries: Photographs from the Collections of the Harry Ransom Center and the Blanton Museum of Art

Organized by the Blanton as part of The University of Texas at Austin’s celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial, the exhibition features 45 iconic images by “the father of Mexican photography” drawn from the Harry Ransom Center and the Blanton—the University's two primary collections of cultural materials. The show also includes examples of important work by Álvarez Bravo’s contemporaries, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston. VIEW a blog post by Blanton Associate Curator of Latin American Art Ursula Davila-Villa about the life and work of Álvarez Bravo.



Costume sketch for "Duel in the Sun"

MAKING MOVIES FILM SERIES King Vidor’s Duel in the Sun (1946), featuring Jennifer Jones and Gregory Peck. VIEW TRAILER.


MAKING MOVIES FILM SERIES Deborah Kerr and David Farrar star in Black Narcissus (1947), directed by Michael Powell and Emerich Pressburger. VIEW TRAILER.


MEMBER EVENT At this members-only celebration, Tom Staley will discuss the history of the Ransom Center and share his adventures across Europe and the United States searching for manuscripts, archives, and books in the attics, basements, sheds, and leaky apartments of many of the greatest writers and artists of our time. A reception follows. BECOME A MEMBER.


MAKING MOVIES FILM SERIES Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959), starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. VIEW TRAILER.


Inside a Book of Hours

Inside a Book of Hours

Books of Hours were medieval prayer books designed for laymen. Part I of this series outlines the historical context for the emergence of the Book of Hours as a distinctive class of text and provides an introduction to the subject. The current installment takes a look inside a Book of Hours and illustrates some of the more common elements of these books with images drawn from the Ransom Center’s collections. LEARN MORE.


June 2010


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Masthead image:
(Detail) Saint Catherine and The Belleville Arms. HRC MS 8.
News image:
Percy Anderson (1851-1928). Costume design for Chu Chin Chow, 1916. Norman Williams as Abdullah.
Exhibitions image:
Identity image for Making Movies exhibition.
Public Programs image:
Costume sketch from Duel in the Sun (1946).
Insider's Perspective image:
Office of the Dead. HRC MS 4, p. 188. Mid-fifteenth century. Latin and French. Leaf size 7.3 x 5.2 in.

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