Ransom Center Hosts Variety of Programs in February

Jan. 21, 2011

EVENT: The Harry Ransom Center hosts public programs.

WHEN: Various dates throughout February.

WHERE: Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, 21st and Guadalupe streets.

BACKGROUND: Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Please be aware that the Ransom Center's Charles Nelson Prothro Theater has limited seating. Line forms upon arrival of the first person, and doors open 30 minutes in advance.

Undated photo of Tennessee Williams in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Undated photo of Tennessee Williams in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Poetry on the Plaza: "Tennessee Williams"
Wednesday, Feb. 2, Noon
The Ransom Center presents the Poetry on the Plaza event "Tennessee Williams." Held in conjunction with the exhibition "Becoming Tennessee Williams," the event features poetry by Williams. Refreshments will be served at this free event.

"Wild at Heart"
Friday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m.
Join the Ransom Center for "Wild at Heart" to celebrate the opening of the exhibitions "Becoming Tennessee Williams" and "Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century." Guests will enjoy light hors d'oeuvres, a New Orleans-inspired cocktail created by Balcones Distilling, exhibition tours and the opportunity to pose for a photo in front of a streetcar named Desire. Free for members of the Harry Ransom Center; $20 ticket required for non-members (valet parking included). Details at, www.hrc.utexas.edu/wildatheart.

Curator's Tour: "Becoming Tennessee Williams"
Thursday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m.
Charlotte Canning, exhibition curator and professor of theatre and dance at The University of Texas at Austin, leads a gallery tour of "Becoming Tennessee Williams." With his plays "The Glass Menagerie" (1945) and "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1947), the American playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) reinvented the theater. Drawing on the Ransom Center's extensive collection of Williams manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and artwork, this centenary exhibition explores the idea, act and process of artistic creation, illuminating how Thomas Lanier Williams became Tennessee Williams. Williams asserted that most of his plays dealt with the "wild at heart kept in cages," a description, perhaps, of his own life. Throughout the exhibition, Williams's biography is compared and contrasted with the dramatic structure of his plays.

Curator's Tour of "Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century"
Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m.
Megan Barnard, exhibition curator and deputy to the director for acquisitions and administration at the Ransom Center, leads a gallery tour of "Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century." This exhibition commemorates the Ransom Center's hunt for archives that will capture the imagination, invigorate scholarly research and deepen our understanding of culture. Highlighting major acquisitions in this new century, the exhibition demonstrates how the Center builds a collection of interrelated archives that strengthen and give context to one another. The exhibition showcases materials from major and lesser-known figures, from writers David Mamet, David Foster Wallace and Don DeLillo to Brian Moore and Jayne Anne Phillips, from journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to acting teacher Stella Adler. The exhibition explains how archives come to the Ransom Center and how they contribute to our cultural history.

"The Thrill of the Chase"
Thursday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley presents "The Thrill of the Chase," a talk describing how many of the Center's collections came to reside in Texas. Staley discusses the history of the Ransom Center and shares his adventures across Europe and the United States searching for manuscripts, archives and books in the attics, basements, sheds and leaky apartments of many of the greatest writers and artists of our time.

High-resolution images are available for all events.

For more information, contact: Alicia Dietrich, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512 232 3667;  Jennifer Tisdale, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512-471-8949.