Artist Ed Ruscha’s archive acquired by Ransom Center
The Ransom Center has acquired the archive of artist Edward Ruscha (b. 1937). The materials reveal Ruscha’s creative process and offer a unique perspective of one of the most influential artists working today.
The Ransom Center has launched a new digital collection, which now includes Lewis Carroll’s photographs, manuscripts by Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Harry Houdini’s scrapbooks, works by artist Frank Reaugh, and items from the Center’s circus collection.
The Ransom Center invites applications for its 2014–2015 research fellowships in the humanities. Applications must be submitted by January 31, 2014. More than 50 fellowships are awarded annually to support projects that require substantial on-site use of its collections.
The Ransom Center invites applications for its 2014–2015 research fellowships in the humanities. Applications must be submitted through the Center’s website by January 31, 2014, at 5 p.m. CST. More than 50 fellowships are awarded annually to support projects that require substantial on-site use of its collections.
We are raising $50,000 in 75 days for the Center’s upcoming exhibition The Making of Gone With The Wind. The film premiered in 1939 marking its 75th anniversary. Funds support outreach, docent-led tours and much more.
Although best known for her role as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1950), Gloria Swanson was a legendary actress even before then. She starred in countless silent films, working with celebrities Cecil DeMille and Charlie Chaplin. Vivacious and enigmatic, Swanson was known for her extravagant clothing, spending, and love life.
In his new biography Gloria Swanson: The Ultimate Star, Stephen Michael Shearer utilized the Ransom Center’s Gloria Swanson collection, which includes personal correspondence, professional contracts, and ephemera.
Swanson was not known for being revelatory or reflective, and an interesting quotation from one of Swanson’s 1943 diary entries, held in the Ransom Center’s collection, stands out in Shearer’s book. She writes, “God’s wisdom finds no solace, no satisfaction in sin, since God has sentenced sinners to suffer.” This introspective quote is at a discord with her usual attitude of rarely expressing remorse, whether for her inveterate spending and debts or the many hearts she broke.
Swanson also worked hard to gloss over anything negative and to cultivate an image of perpetual stardom. Her dramatic and charismatic persona was always on display, drawing men and women alike to her. “Swanson was drenched in her concept of her own allure and femininity,” said Shearer. Swanson’s carefully crafted autobiography Swanson on Swanson reflects this tendency to conceal the negative aspects of her life and showcase her greatness, but holdings such as this diary entry help paint a portrait of Swanson that goes beyond Norma Desmond and Swanson on Swanson.