Hamon Arts Library

Calendar Highlights: Commencement Week, May 10, 2011

Commencement 2010 assembly photo by Hillsman S. JacksonSave the date: Make plans to attend the 2011 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The annual celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, rain or shine. Stay up-to-date on picnic plans at the Staff Association website.

Catch them while you can: Make plans to visit these SMU exhibitions before they close:

Commencement Countdown 2011:

> Learn more at the Registrar’s Commencement 2011 website
> RSVP online for the Faculty Breakfast and Processional
> Read more about U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the 2011 Commencement speaker

(Right, participants assemble for Commencement 2010. Photo by Hillsman S. Jackson.)

Theatrical treasures take center stage in McCord/Renshaw Collection exhibit

SMU's Arden Club in a 1916 performance of 'As You Like It'Crammed with materials ranging from 1943 “Cabin in the Sky” set drawings by director Vincente Minnelli to a program from the first performance of Oscar Wilde’s 1892 play Lady Windermere’s Fan, the McCord Theatre Museum at SMU closed in 1990 after 57 years of collecting.

Now items from the collection are on view again at the new Hamon Arts Library exhibit, “Hidden Treasures from the McCord/Renshaw Collection.” The exhibit at the Mildred Hawn Gallery in SMU’s Owen Arts Center runs through May 13, 2011.

Edyth Renshaw, the museum’s curator, collected artifacts both weird and wonderful from around the world, says exhibit curator Emily Grubbs.

When the stage manager of the 1951 Academy Awards locked the theatre after the ceremony, he found the discarded envelopes and winners’ names for Best Actor on the podium. He passed them on to theatre impresario Clark Davis. Davis knew exactly who would want them – Edyth Renshaw.

Renshaw directed SMU’s student theatre program for 42 years while collecting performing arts materials – such as the typewritten cards naming Humphrey Bogart and Vivien Leigh 1951 Academy Award winners.

After the museum closed, more than 300 boxes of artifacts remained in storage for 20 years due to lack of space and staff. In 2006, Grubbs, then a Hamon Arts Library student worker, began organizing the never-inventoried museum, discovering rare treasures ranging from 8th-century Japanese gigaku masks to a sultry Christmas card featuring Mae West.

Many of the items in the Mary McCord/Edyth Renshaw Collection on the Performing Arts can be seen in an online digital collection.

Among the items in the exhibit:

  • 1951 Academy Award presentation envelopes for Best Actress and Best Actor (Vivien Leigh and Humphrey Bogart)
  • Mae West Christmas card featuring West lounging on Santa’s lap
  • Photographs of long-gone ornate Dallas theatres such as the segregated Harlem Theatre (1920), Palace Theatre (1936) and Cycle Park Theatre (1907)
  • Comedienne Joan Blondell’s false eyelashes (1952)
  • 1869 costume design sketchbook featuring color drawings
  • A snapshot of Aaron Spelling as an SMU student actor

(Above, SMU’s Arden Club in a 1916 performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Photo courtesy of the McCord/Renshaw Collection.)

Written by Nancy George

> Learn more about the “Hidden Treasures” exhibition
> Visit the Hamon Arts Library online

For the Record: Dec. 2, 2010

Anita Ingram, Risk Management, was inducted as 2010-11 treasurer of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA) at the organization’s 41st annual conference in Pittsburgh on Oct. 12, 2010. URMIA is an international nonprofit educational association promoting “the advancement and application of effective risk management principles and practices in institutions of higher education,” according to its press release. It represents more than 500 institutions of higher education and 100 companies.

Beth Newman, English, Dedman College, attended the North American Victorian Studies Association conference in Montreal Nov. 11-13, 2010, where she read a paper titled “Walter Pater, Alice Meynell, and Aestheticist Temporality.” The next weekend she read a slightly expanded version of the paper at the Clark Library (UCLA), at a symposium titled “Cultures of Aestheticism.”

Emily George Grubbs ’08, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, wrote an article published in Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, published by the Dallas Historical Society. The article, “Texas Regionalism and the Little Theatre of Dallas,” discusses the collaboration between local artists and the Little Theatre of Dallas in areas such as program cover design, stage sets and publicity posters. Early in their careers, architect O’Neil Ford and artists Jerry Bywaters, Alexandre Hogue and Perry Nichols were among those who collaborated with the theatre.

Grant Kao and Justin Nesbit, graduate video game design students in The Guildhall at SMU, have been chosen to receive national scholarships presented annually by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Kao and Nesbit will receive $2,500 each through the Randy Pausch and Mark Beaumont scholarship funds, respectively. The scholarships are awarded by the AIAS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AIAS. Read more from SMU News.

SMU’s Data Mining TeamSubhojit Das and Greg Johnson, third-year students in the economics graduate program; and Jacob Williamson, a second-year graduate student in applied economics – has placed second in the national 2010 SAS Data Mining Shootout competition. Their faculty sponsor is Tom Fomby, Economics, Dedman College. Winners of the national competition were announced Oct. 25 at the SAS Data Mining Conference in Las Vegas.

SMU 2010 Data Mining Team in Las VegasThe competition’s problem statement was to determine the economic benefit of reducing the Body Mass Indices (BMIs) of a select number of individuals by 10 percent and to determine the cost savings to federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as to the economy as a whole, from the implementation of the proposed BMI reduction program. This is the third year in a row that the University’s Economics Department has fielded one of the country’s top three data mining teams; SMU finished as national champions in 2008 and 2009. Read more from SMU News.

(In photo, left to right: Tim Rey of Dow Chemical Company; Subhojit Das, Tom Fomby, Greg Johnson and Jacob Williamson, all of SMU; and Tracy Hewitt of the Institute for Health and Business Insight at Central Michigan University. Dow Chemical and the Institute for Health and Business Insight were co-sponsors of the competition, along with the SAS Institute of Cary, North Carolina.)

Faculty in the News: Nov. 16, 2010

Henry Arthur McArdle, 'The Battle of San JacintoEric White, curator at SMU’s Bridwell Library, discussed James G. Pepper’s work creating a hand-lettered, hand-illustrated Bible with The United Methodist Church’s Interpreter Magazine. The article appeared in the November-December 2010 edition.

Sam Ratcliffe, head of special collections in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, talked with The Houston Chronicle about the recent discovery of a smaller version of Texas artist Henry Arthur McArdle’s famed painting The Battle of San Jacinto (right) – a canvas previously thought to have been destroyed in a 1918 house fire. The article appeared in the paper’s Nov. 8, 2010 edition.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Sarah Palin’s visit to Dallas and its potential impact on other politicians’ aspirations with The Dallas Morning News Nov. 10, 2010.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about how – and whether – President Obama can adapt to the new political realities of Washington with The Christian Science Monitor Nov. 6, 2010. In addition, he discussed the 2010 midterm elections with The Houston Chronicle and USA Today in articles that appeared Nov. 3, 2010.

Peter Raad on 'Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman'Peter Raad (right), Executive Director, The Guildhall at SMU, discussed the future landscape of video games on the nationally syndicated PBS series “Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman.” The show aired Nov. 4, 2010. Watch it online. video

Dennis Simon, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Democratic successes in Dallas County elections despite Republican dominance of national races with The Dallas Morning News Nov. 3, 2010.

Anastasia Suen, Creative Writing, Continuing and Professional Studies, was featured in an article on the “Frisco Reads” program that appeared in The South Lake Times Oct. 27, 2010.

Bruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, talked with The Wall Street Journal about how cement used in oil drilling is prone to failure. The article appeared in the Oct. 30, 2010 edition.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, discussed Halloween sales of candy, costumes and decorations as a barometer for general economic recovery with The Dallas Business Journal Oct. 29, 2010.

Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, Dedman College, talked about a Bible-based history curriculum being sought by a member of Louisiana’s Caddo Parish School Board with The Shreveport Times Nov. 2, 2010.

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 28, 2010

censored text‘Heretical’ exhibition: SMU’s Bridwell Library adds to their already large stable of exhibits as a new research piece on Medieval censorship, Heresy and Error: The Ecclesiastical Censorship of Books, 1400-1800, continues today. Contained within the exhibit are damaged and censored texts from the mid-1500s, when censor-heavy religious groups such as the Council of Trent sought to expurge and control all information related to the Church. (Pictured right, an example from Erasmus: In Novum Testamentum.) The exhibit operates within normal Bridwell Library hours, which can be found here and will run through Dec. 17. For more information, visit the Bridwell Library site or call 214-768-3483.

Brazil’s history in pictures: Meadows’ Comini Lecture Series continues with a look at the rapid modernization of Brazil during the Roaring ’20s and its effects not only on the nation itself but on geographer and explorer Alexander H. Rice, who is the subject of the lecture’s two documentaries. Culled together from 1924-25 footage, these records paint two contrasting pictures of Rice’s journey and paint a picture of how Brazil quickly rose from colony to an epicenter of industrialization in South America. The lecture is at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Bob Hope Theatre. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For more information, call 214-768-2698; for reservations call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Return of the celluloid: The Student Filmmakers’ Association will hold its bi-annual Film Fest Oct. 1. Works are culled from across SMU’s diverse Cinema-Television family, with works ranging from conventional drama, comedy and documentary to experimental and animation. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the O’Donnell Auditorium, Owen Arts Center, and is free and open to the public. For more information, call 214-768-2129.

Fondren festival focuses on rare ‘race movies’

DVD box artSMU’s internationally famous collection of black independent films from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s will be showcased from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 26-27 as part of the Fondren Library AV Bi-Annual Film Festival.

The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library is home to the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection, from which the festival screenings were chosen. These “race movies,” shown mostly in the segregated movie houses of the mid-20th century American South, were discovered in an East Texas warehouse on miraculously well-preserved nitrate stock in 1983. Transferred to safety film in 1985, several were digitally restored and released in a 3-DVD boxed set in 2004.

“These films stand as a testimony to the history of black independent film in the United States, to the skill and artistry that have existed in the genre for much longer than many people may know,” says Tinsley Silcox, director of public services for SMU’s Central University Libraries (CUL). “They’re also an undistorted glimpse of African-American life in the early 20th century, devoid of the usual Hollywood stereotypes. They’re very representative of African-American self-consciousness of the time.”

Silcox and Rick Worland, professor of cinema-TV in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, will host the festival and provide commentary on the films. All screenings will be held in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

The complete schedule:

Movie poster for 'The Broken Earth'Monday, Oct. 26

  • Introduction by Tinsley Silcox
  • The Broken Earth (1939) – A one-reel drama starring Clarence Muse as a hard-working sharecropper whose son becomes ill with a fever. In its acting, writing and cinematography, “this is a powerful, powerful statement that shows the depth and breadth of talent in these films,” Silcox says. It’s an especially important showcase for Muse, whose acting career spanned more than 60 years and included many major Hollywood releases, he adds. “At a time when most mainstream black film characters were servants and comic relief, Muse’s artistry in this role demonstrated the very high dramatic standards African-American performers could achieve.”
  • Juke Joint (1947) – Shot in Dallas, this feature stars pioneering actor-director Spencer Williams and Texas native Robert Orr (credited here under the screen name July Jones) as a pair of con artists, down and out in the Southwest, who pose as theatrical experts to help a girl win a beauty pageant.
  • Midnight Shadow (1939) – Carnival performer Prince Alihabad takes an interest in the daughter of an Old South family when he learns they have oil property in Texas. The daughter’s boyfriend becomes jealous, and murder ensues.

    Movie poster for 'Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A.'Tuesday, Oct. 27

  • Introduction by Rick Worland
  • Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946) – In a screenplay based on W. Somerset Maugham‘s short story Rain, a sexy dancer shakes things up in a sleepy Caribbean island resort.
  • By-Line Newsreels (1953-56) – Newsreels featuring interviews with black government officials in the Eisenhower administration, including Carmel Marr, United Nations employee; Ernest Wilkins, Assistant Secretary of Labor; Samuel Pierce, Undersecretary of Labor; E. Frederick Morrow, one of President Eisenhower’s top aides; and Lois Lippman, the first black member of the White House staff.
  • Vanities (Harlem Hot Shots) (1946) – Charles Keith is the master of ceremonies of a nightclub act.

    For more information, contact Lisa Wall at 214-768-4397.

    Read more about the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection
    Find more digitized content at the CUL Digital Collections homepage

  • For the Record: Oct. 16, 2009

    The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, has been awarded a $28,000 grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) for the preservation of Carib Gold (1956), an African-American crime drama set in Key West and featuring Ethel Waters, Cicely Tyson and Geoffrey Holder. The film is notable for its documentation of the Key West waterfront and shrimping fleet as they existed in the mid-20th century. The NFPF funds will allow the Jones Collection to use its print to create a new negative, prints, and videos. The new materials will be available for teaching, research and public viewing.

    Elizabeth Johnston, a senior cinema-TV major in Meadows School of the Arts, has won the 2009 undergraduate scholarship presented by Women in Film.Dallas and will receive $2,500 toward her SMU tuition. Every fall, the organization awards two scholarships, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students, to Texas women studying media production. The awards were announced Oct. 8 during the Chick Flicks Film Series and Festival held at the Dallas Studio Movie Grill.

    For the Record: Sept. 10, 2009

    tslac-centennial-logo-120.jpgCentral University Libraries (CUL) has received a $9,000 grant and $3,000 training stipend from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission‘s “Train to Share: Interoperability Training for Cultural Heritage Institutions – Texas” program. The program will allow CUL to partner with two other Dallas institutions, representing the North Texas region, to create the “Texas Artists: Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper” digital project. CUL will lead the partnership, which includes the Norwick Center for Digital Services and the Hamon Arts Library‘s Bywaters Special Collections; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Dallas Public Library‘s Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division and Fine Arts Division.

    Visit CUL’s 14 digital collections online

    Are you starting a new fellowship, speaking at a professional meeting, or awaiting the release of a new book? Share your news about conferences, publications, exhibitions and honors with the SMU community. Send your news to the Forum‘s For the Record section at forum@smu.edu, with “For the Record” in the e-mail title.

    Calendar Highlights: Sept. 1, 2009

    SMU Unbridled logoFaculty-Staff Campaign Kickoff: Join your colleagues in campuswide events to mark the launch of the faculty and staff component of The Second Century Campaign on Sept. 3. School and area events will take place throughout the day (find yours here) and will culminate in an all-University celebration hosted by SMU President R. Gerald Turner at 4 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. For more information and to make a gift, visit smu.edu/fs.

    Jewish life, past and present: Photographer Loli Kantor has documented the disappearing population of Holocaust survivors and their lives within the vanishing shtetls of Poland and Ukraine. In the process, she found glimpses into a re-emergence of Jewish life and culture in Central and Eastern Europe that is beginning to transform larger communities. Her work is collected in There Was a Forest – Jews in Eastern Europe Today, on display through Nov. 15 in the Hawn Gallery, Hamon Arts Library. Kantor will lecture on campus at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center, followed by a reception at 7 p.m. Both events are part of “Holocaust Legacies: Shoah as Turning Point,” a semester-long series presented by SMU’s Human Rights Education Program.

    SMU wide receiver Emmanuel SandersGame time: The Mustang football team hosts its season opener against Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. in Ford Stadium. Traditional tailgating parties and other festivities will take place on The Boulevard for most of the day. Find a complete season schedule, ticket information and more at 2009 Gameday Central, and learn more about Sellout 2009. (Right, wide receiver and senior co-captain Emmanuel Sanders, SMU’s career leader in touchdown catches and the first player in University history to record three 600-yard receiving seasons.)

    Tate Lecture Series opens: New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria, moderated by former White House adviser David Gergen, will offer their insights on current events and international politics in the first event of the 2009-10 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series season. The event begins at 8 p.m. Sept. 8 in McFarlin Auditorium.

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