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Photo Friday

Each Friday, the Ransom Center shares photos from throughout the week that highlight a range of activities and collection holdings. We hope you enjoy these photos that reveal some of the everyday happenings at the Center.

In conjunction with the exhibition 'Becoming Tennessee Williams,' actors from Austin Shakespeare perform selections of Tennessee Williams's play 'Not About Nightingales' in the galleries of the Ransom Center. Photo by Pete Smith.
In conjunction with the exhibition 'Becoming Tennessee Williams,' actors from Austin Shakespeare perform selections of Tennessee Williams's play 'Not About Nightingales' in the galleries of the Ransom Center. Photo by Pete Smith.
Photographic Archivist Mary Alice Harper with one of photographer Carleton Watkins’s images of Yosemite. Photo by Pete Smith.
Photographic Archivist Mary Alice Harper with one of photographer Carleton Watkins’s images of Yosemite. Photo by Pete Smith.
Library Assistant Emilio Banda returns paged manuscript materials to the stacks.  Photo by Pete Smith.
Library Assistant Emilio Banda returns paged manuscript materials to the stacks. Photo by Pete Smith.

In the galleries: Marlon Brando’s little black book

Inside cover of Marlon Brando's address book, which he lost during a 1949 production of 'A Streetcar Named Desire.'
Inside cover of Marlon Brando's address book, which he lost during a 1949 production of 'A Streetcar Named Desire.'
“On bended knee I beg you to return this. I lost eight others already and if I lose this I’ll just drop dead!”

These are Marlon Brando’s words inscribed on the flyleaf of his address book, which was later dropped on the stage of the Barrymore Theatre in New York City during the 1949 run of A Streetcar Named Desire. Brando’s portrayal of the rugged and aggressive Stanley Kowalski in the play stands as the defining performance against which all subsequent actors of the part are judged.

In 1947, Brando auditioned for role. His audition was persuasive, and Tennessee Williams agreed to his casting on the spot. Williams wrote effusively to Audrey Wood about Brando’s performance: “I can’t tell you what a relief it is that we have found such a God-sent Stanley in the person of Brando. . . A new value came out of Brando’s reading. . . He seemed to have already created a dimensional character, of the sort that the war has produced among young veterans. This is a value beyond any that [John] Garfield could have contributed, and in addition to his gifts as an actor he has great physical appeal and sensuality, at least as much as Burt Lancaster.”

Unfortunately for Brando, the misplaced address book was never returned. Instead, it was found (and kept) by the play’s production manager, Robert Downing, and arrived at the Ransom Center as part of Downing’s papers in 1962. Thankfully, Brando survived the loss and continued acting, utilizing his masculine persona and notorious mumbling diction, making a profound impact upon the film industry.

His impact was so significant, in fact, that in responding in 2009 to a reporter’s question “What does ‘Brando’ really mean?” the movie producer of A Streetcar Named Desire and Brando trustee Mike Medavoy answered: “He represents the traditional male, in some ways rebellious, but not all the way.”

Marlon Brando’s little black book is on display through July 31 in the Ransom Center’s current exhibition, Becoming Tennessee Williams.

View photos from "Wild at Heart" event

Actors from Different Stages Theater Company perform scenes from 'Night of the Iguana' by Tennessee Williams at the 'Wild at Heart' exhibition opening.
Actors from Different Stages Theater Company perform scenes from 'Night of the Iguana' by Tennessee Williams at the 'Wild at Heart' exhibition opening.

The Harry Ransom Center celebrated the opening of its exhibitions, Becoming Tennessee Williams and Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century, with the “Wild at Heart” event on Friday, February 11. Guests enjoyed informal tours of the exhibition, readings of “Night of the Iguana” by Different Stages Theater Company, cocktails courtesy of Balcones Distilling, hors d’oeuvres, and more.

Pam Berry was the lucky winner of the “Wild at Heart” Prize. Congrats, Pam!

View photos in front of the streetcar.

View photos from the reception.

Become a member to receive complimentary admission and valet parking at exhibition opening parties. Members of the Harry Ransom Center receive advance notice and invitations to lectures, programs, exhibition previews, and other exclusive members-only events throughout the year, including opportunities for behind-the-scenes glimpses into the Center and its holdings.  Join or learn more.

Attendee Pam Berry won the 'Wild at Heart' Prize.
Attendee Pam Berry won the 'Wild at Heart' Prize.

Photo Friday

Each Friday, the Ransom Center shares photos from throughout the week that highlight a range of activities and collection holdings. We hope you enjoy these photos that reveal some of the everyday happenings at the Center.

Students in Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Susan Zeder’s 'Playwriting' course visit the Ransom Center’s exhibition 'Becoming Tennessee Williams.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Students in Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Susan Zeder’s 'Playwriting' course visit the Ransom Center’s exhibition 'Becoming Tennessee Williams.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Students in Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Susan Zeder’s 'Playwriting' course visit the Ransom Center’s exhibition 'Becoming Tennessee Williams.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Students in Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Susan Zeder’s 'Playwriting' course visit the Ransom Center’s exhibition 'Becoming Tennessee Williams.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Eli Reed, Magnum photographer and Professor of Photojournalism at The University of Texas at Austin, spoke about a selection of his work to the Ransom Center’s Friends of Photography. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Eli Reed, Magnum photographer and Professor of Photojournalism at The University of Texas at Austin, spoke about a selection of his work to the Ransom Center’s Friends of Photography. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Students in Professors Robert Abzug and Steven Hoelscher’s graduate seminar 'Photography in American Culture' view materials from the Ransom Center’s photography collections, including photos from the Arnold Newman archive. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Students in Professors Robert Abzug and Steven Hoelscher’s graduate seminar 'Photography in American Culture' view materials from the Ransom Center’s photography collections, including photos from the Arnold Newman archive. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.

Photo Friday

Each Friday, the Ransom Center shares photos from throughout the week that highlight a range of activities and collection holdings. We hope you enjoy these photos that reveal some of the everyday happenings at the Center.

Norman Mailer’s paper-clipped and marked-up copy of “American Tragedy” by Lawrence Schiller and James Willwerth. Photo by Pete Smith.
Norman Mailer’s paper-clipped and marked-up copy of “American Tragedy” by Lawrence Schiller and James Willwerth. Photo by Pete Smith.
Additional materials for the Norman Mailer papers were received and inspected. Photo by Pete Smith.
Additional materials for the Norman Mailer papers were received and inspected. Photo by Pete Smith.
Students in the ‘Culture Unbound’ exhibition, specifically in the reading nook filled with books featured in the exhibition. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Students in the ‘Culture Unbound’ exhibition, specifically in the reading nook filled with books featured in the exhibition. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
A student walks by the exterior banner for the exhibition 'Becoming Tennessee Williams.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
A student walks by the exterior banner for the exhibition 'Becoming Tennessee Williams.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Undergraduate intern Kelsey Harmon shows some of John Fowles’ personal effects: his desk, typewriter, and a set of brass knuckles. The desk and its contents are being prepared to go on exhibit in the Center’s Reading and Viewing Room later this spring. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Undergraduate intern Kelsey Harmon shows some of John Fowles’ personal effects: his desk, typewriter, and a set of brass knuckles. The desk and its contents are being prepared to go on exhibit in the Center’s Reading and Viewing Room later this spring. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.

Thank you to "Wild at Heart" sponsors

The Harry Ransom Center extends a thank you to the many generous sponsors who are helping us turn Friday evening’s opening party, “Wild at Heart,” into a memorable event.

Guests will enjoy a New Orleans-inspired specialty cocktail created by Balcones Distilling and readings of Williams’s “Night of the Iguana” performed by Different Stages Theater Company.

Guests will receive gift bags compliments of Casa Brasil Coffees; Dr. Kracker Texas Whole Grain Specialists; Grove/Atlantic; Little, Brown and Company; Harper Perennial; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Picador; Random House Publishing Group; Roman Candle Company; Simon & Schuster; and Sweet Leaf Tea.*

One lucky guest will also win a “Wild at Heart Prize.” Guests at the opening may enter to win a two-night stay at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, a panel pass to the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, four tickets to Different Stage Theater Company’s performance of Night of the Iguana, and a set of magnets inspired by the Becoming Tennessee Williams exhibition.

*While supplies last.

Photo Friday

Each Friday, the Ransom Center shares photos from throughout the week that highlight a range of activities and collection holdings. We hope you enjoy these photos that reveal some of the everyday happenings at the Center.

Gallery light fixtures on rolling storage rack. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Gallery light fixtures on rolling storage rack. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.

Vinyl graphics are installed in the upcoming exhibition “Becoming Tennessee Williams,” which opens on Tuesday, February 1. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Vinyl graphics are installed in the upcoming exhibition “Becoming Tennessee Williams,” which opens on Tuesday, February 1. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.

Vinyl graphics are installed in the upcoming exhibition “Becoming Tennessee Williams,” which opens on Tuesday, February 1. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Vinyl graphics are installed in the upcoming exhibition “Becoming Tennessee Williams,” which opens on Tuesday, February 1. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.

Vinyl graphics are installed in the upcoming exhibition “Becoming Tennessee Williams,” which opens on Tuesday, February 1. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Vinyl graphics are installed in the upcoming exhibition “Becoming Tennessee Williams,” which opens on Tuesday, February 1. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.