U of Michigan Exhibit Report
Greetings all, as noted below, the University of Michigan opened an exhibition based on their recently acquired Welles collections tonight. The displayed items will eventually change, but the display itself will continue through December, and the collection is available for research purposes now, though not all of it has yet been cataloged. Catherine Benamou presented the collection, explaining some the thinking behind the organization of the display items and their meaning in the larger career of Welles. Many of the items have never been seen by the public before, and included the following:
- photos (including two color slide enlargements) of Welles' 1947 Utah stage production of Macbeth, believed to be the only surviving images of that production;
- frame enlargements from Magnificent Ambersons, including shots from the lost scenes;
- the order to destroy the prints (one a 10 reel print, the other a 14 reel print) of Ambersons that had been sent to Welles in Rio, which was itself sent to RKO's Brazilian office in 1944, more than two years after Welles had left them behind;
- fan mail sent to Welles after the War of the Worlds broadcast, which had been sitting unopened, in a box, for more than sixty years;
- materials from the aborted Heart of Darkness film project; one of the jewels of this collection is Welles' annotated, illustrated script to that film;
And there's still much more in the rest of the collection. Much of the material on display now comes from Richard Wilson's papers; also acquired by U of M are Welles' papers that went to Oja Kodar, and hold their own numerous treasures. All in all, it was a treat to see all of these materials, as well as see a couple other Wellesnetters there. If you live near enough, you'll want to take a look at this exhibit, not to mention looking into the materials themselves.