Apologies for the picture. I remembered I had my camera with me this time around, but, unfortunately, due to understandable security issues, we all had to relinquish our personal belongings before entering the meeting room at the Harry Ransom Center. So I had to be content with taking a shot of the window of the room upon exiting (and if you were here you would understand why I wouldn’t want to take the time to snap a picture out of doors in the midday sun). But at least you can catch a glimpse of one of the scepters used in the Robert De Niro film, The Score. At least I think it was that film, although the plot synopsis does not make a scepter seem a necessary accessory — please correct me if I’m wrong. At any rate, it was from a De Niro movie I’m sure I have never seen.
This curiosity was just one of the many treasures from the HRC collections brought out by our host, associate curator in charge of performing arts collections, Helen Adair. Other items included a Shakespeare first folio, one of Marlon Brando’s address books, an early draft of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, a Gershwin score, and, perhaps most thrillingly one of Walter Plunkett’s Scarlett O’Hara costumes designed for actress Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. Unfortunately, the famous “curtain dress” was being viewed by another visiting group, but we got to see the no less dramatic “scarlet woman” gown up close.
At the business meeting proper, the new Performing Arts Roundtable leaders were announced: Andrew Wentink will be the new co-chair and Leilani Dawson joins the steering committee. Many thanks to them for their willingness to serve and a special thanks must go to outgoing co-chair Susan Brady for all her hard work in organizing the Austin program.