Encore of ‘Alice Goes to the Movies’

Hornbake Library is excited to announce a three-part film series- Alice Goes to the Movies. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see early Alice films and learn about how they were saved from the passage of time. David H. Schaefer, longtime Lewis Carroll collector and Alice film expert, will be sharing some of the highlights of his Alice film collection and discussing the process of restoring and digitizing them.

Join us on Thursday, May 5 from 4:30-6:00pm in Hornbake Library, Room 0302J for our final film night. Dr. Schaffer will be opening the film series with a brief introduction on Fort Lee New Jersey as the film capitol of the world.  Afterward, munch on popcorn as we enjoy the 1931 film Alice in Wonderland, directed by Bud Pollard. For some animated fun, we will also show the Mickey Mouse and Popeye shorts with an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Alice at the Movies Flyer week 3a

 

All are welcome – even Mad Hatters and March Hares! Whether you are interested in learning about film preservation or are one of many Alice fans, you are certain to enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure in Wonderland. Directions and parking information can be found online.

Don’t forget to visit our Alice 150 Years and Counting: Legacy of Lewis Carroll exhibit, currently on display in Hornbake Library, to explore all things Alice.

If you are a film/theater/music fan, don’t miss the exhibit Alice in the Performing Arts, now on display in the Lowens Reading Room at the Peforming Arts Library. This companion exhibit features unique Alice film items, like this book of previously unpublished Walt Disney illustrations.

Visit our online exhibit and take a look at some of the illustrations inside this and other Alice items on display

Heavy Metal Parking Lot and the Jeff Krulik Collection

When aspiring filmmakers Jeff Krulik and John Heyn visited the Capital Centre parking lot on May 31, 1986, they had little more in mind than to document a fan scene at full peak. What they ended up creating was a cult film now considered among the greatest rock documentaries of all time. Just under 17 minutes long, Heavy Metal Parking Lot features local heavy metal fans expressing their enthusiasm for Judas Priest before the band performed in concert that night. Thirty years later, the film continues to resonate with fans around the globe.

HMPL Judas Priest banner

The University of Maryland is proud to honor both the legacy of the film and that of its co-producer. Jeff Krulik, a lifetime Marylander and graduate of UMD (B.A. English, 1983), is an independent documentarian, videographer and cultural preservationist who has built a distinct career tapping into the rich ore of local culture in the Maryland/D.C. region. In 1996, the Washington Post noted that his esteemed documentaries “demonstrate a loving eye for Americana and eccentricity.”

Krulik, Maryland Alumni Magazine, Spring 2001, photo by John ConsoliThe Jeff Krulik Collection, acquired by Mass Media & Culture collections within the UMD Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives in November 2015, includes research files and source tapes for more than a dozen documentaries, as well as photos, catalogs, magazines, guides, posters, ephemera and audiovisual materials that represent a lifetime fascination with the offbeat and unusual. The collection is currently being processed, and will be available to researchers within the next two years.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Krulik’s most iconic film, the exhibit “Heavy Metal Parking Lot: The 30-Year Journey of a Cult Film Sensation”, opening next month in the Gallery at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, illustrates the film’s unexpected path from bootleg copies to international fame. Additional items from the Krulik Collection will also be on display.

Please join us for the opening reception in the the Pavilion of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on May 27 from 6-8:30pm. This lively event will feature short presentations by film scholars, a screening of the film and a Q&A session with Jeff Krulik and John Heyn.

Click here for more information.

Spotlight on Wonderland: The Duchess

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With a frustrating mix of rain, wind, sunshine, pollen, and taxes, the month of April is certainly reminiscent of the volatile tempers of the Duchess. Blustery then blithe, raucous then regal, the duchess is an absolute mess of contrary and contrasting emotions.

When Alice first walks into the Duchess’ home, she notes the distinct and overwhelming aroma of peppery soup, followed by the sound of howling and sneezing. These sounds arise from the duchess and her baby sitting in the middle of the room, feeling the effects of an overzealous cook.

`There’s certainly too much pepper in that soup!’ Alice said to herself, as well as she could for sneezing.

There was certainly too much of it in the air. Even the Duchess sneezed occasionally; and as for the baby, it was sneezing and howling alternately without a moment’s pause. The only things in the kitchen that did not sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat which was sitting on the hearth and grinning from ear to ear.

When Alice attempts to calm the cacophonous kitchen, she is rebuked. “If everybody minded their own business,” the Duchess said, in a hoarse growl, “the world wound go round a good deal faster than it does.” Not long after, the Duchess all but flings her child into Alice’s arms in her haste to get ready for the Queen of Hearts’ croquet game.

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But this is not all we see of the Duchess. Later, at the croquet game, she appears again in a completely different state of mind and attitude. It is not hard to understand why Alice feels something akin to whiplash when she is greeted again.

`You can’t think how glad I am to see you again, you dear old thing!’ said the Duchess, as she tucked her arm affectionately into Alice’s, and they walked off together.

Alice was very glad to find her in such a pleasant temper, and thought to herself that perhaps it was only the pepper that had made her so savage when they met in the kitchen.

In the dialogue that follows, the Duchess reveals that she can find a moral in absolutely anything. Inevitably, when these morals are stated, they cause the reader’s eyes to cross.

Would you rather encounter a cantankerous Duchess or a short-tempered Queen in Wonderland?

Did you Know:

  • Tenniel’s illustration of the Duchess may be based on a 14th century painting of Margaret Maultasch, Countess of Tyrol, which is titled ‘The Ugly Duchess’.
  • The Cheshire Cat belongs to the Duchess. You can see it in the background of illustrations of her kitchen. When Alice asks why her cat grins, the Duchess, in her usual huffy manner, replies “It’s a Cheshire cat…and that’s why.”

Visit the Maryland Room gallery in Hornbake Library from October 2105-July 2016 to discover more about the Duchess and the rest of the Wonderland cast of characters in the exhibit Alice 150 Years and County…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.

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Curator Pick: Favorite Item from the Alice 150 Exhibit

For my turn at curator’s pick, I choose two of my favorite illustrated editions on display in the Alice 15o Years and Counting exhibit: Ralph Steadman’s Alice in Wonderland and John Vernon Lord’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Steadman and Lord are both contemporary British artists, known for their book illustrations and art. Each bring an unique perspective to Carroll’s classic tale, presenting the world of Wonderland in refreshing and unexpected ways.

Ralph Steadman (born 1936 in Wallasey, England) is perhaps best know for his collaboration with Hunter S. Thompson and the birth of Gonzo journalism. He worked freelance for several publications, including Punch magazine- a connection shared with original Alice illustration Sir John Tenniel, who worked for Punch nearly 100 years prior. Steadman’s explosive and raw style envisions Carroll’s Victorian children’s story with a modern twist. His characters are engaging, crazed, and absolutely fitting for the madness of Wonderland.

In the introduction to his illustrated edition of Alice in Wonderland, Steadman describes his vision of Lewis Carroll’s unforgettable characters. He reasons that the White Rabbit is “today’s commuter”…”sane within a routine, slightly insane but more engaging when the routine is upset.” The Duchess meanwhile, is “an ex-starlet who married an aristocrat. A high class tart gone to seed.” And the Cheshire Cat “makes an ideal TV Announcer whose smile remains as the rest of the programme fades out.”

Steadman’s affinity for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is unmistakable. He wrote in 1986:

It was all so familiar when I picked it up and read it for the first time in 1967. For the first time, as I thought, but don’t you ever get that strange sensation that what you are reading or watching is something you already know? Something that is in your mind already? Bells of recognition ring as you welcome an old friend. All good ideas are like that. You already know them. The familiarity is part of the enjoyment. The words someone has taken the trouble to write down merely reveal the contents of your own mind. The picture someone has struggled to create is something you have already seen, otherwise how would you recognize it’s content?

alice-module3-aaiw1973steadman_13His illustrations are imaginative, humorous, and deranged. Beautiful in their insanity. Familiar, yet completely different. I always smile when I come across the scene where Alice encounters playing cards painting the roses red. With Steadman, the cards have become surly British workers, complete with union numbers stamped on their card face, carelessly sloshing paint about and ready for a brawl.

Steadman’s unrestrained art offers the reader a new experience with the world created by Carroll and Tenniel- one unmistakably hatched from the mad genius of an artist who feels a genuine connection to the original. As he wrote in 1967: “My only regret is that I didn’t write the story.”

Standing in stark contrast to Steadman’s visceral and unpredictable black ink drawings are the colorful, meticulous, and bold illustrations by John Vernon Lord, (born 1939 in Glossop, England).

Like Steadman, Lord also found familiarity in the characters of Wonderland. In his introduction to the 2009 illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, he writes:

The disturbing characters that permeate the book seemed to be similar experiences to those I found in real life in the classroom and in the school playground…To a young child much of the behavior and conversations of adults seemed to me to be similarly irrational, bossy, and supercilious to many of the Alice characters.

alice-module3-aaiw2009lord_15In Lord’s edition, the madness of Wonderland is illustrated with delicate precision. His illustrations carefully thought out, including their placement in the overall book design. Lord offers not only full page illustrations of familiar scenes like the Mad Tea Party, but he also illustrates smaller vignettes integrated flawlessly throughout the text. Some are drawings of the puns/jokes in Carroll’s text, such as the raven and the writing desk at the beginning of chapter 7. The close placement of text and illustration is the result of Lord’s intention to emphasize the “claustrophobic”, dreamlike quality of the story. According to Lord, “it seems to me that dreams move from one situation to another seamlessly. So, in the book, the chapters butt against each other without any gaps.”

One of the most unique aspects of Lord’s illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is the absence of the Alice herself. Deliberately choosing not to picture the title character, the reader experiences the story from the perspective of a dreaming Alice. Lord writes:

You rarely see yourself in dreams, indeed you rarely see yourself at all! I wanted Alice to be somewhat disembodied whilst she lies asleep among the the field of daises in the state of a dream.

Throughout the book, Alice’s words are highlighted in bright blue lettering. Her face may not appear, but the highlighted text ensures her presence is still a visual element throughout the book.

There is an touch of madness in Lord’s illustrations of Wonderland, although perhaps a bit more subtle than Steadman’s frenzied style. Introspective and precise, Lord’s detailed artwork is mesmerizing. His illustrations hold unexpected details as well. For the cover, Lord choose to illustrate exclusively words starting with the letter M, a nod to Carroll’s Tea Party scene:

They were learning to draw,’ the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy; `and they drew all manner of things–everything that begins with an M–

There’s the obvious mousetrap, moon, and March hare, but Lord also includes abstract concepts like memory, illustrated by infinity symbols and a brain. This thoughtful approach to illustrating Carroll’s text lends itself superbly to the humor and wordplay throughout Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And that is exactly how Lord sees it: “one always hopes that illustrations may enhance the experience of reading and help the reader to see, especially to see familiar texts differently.”

Ralph Steadman and John Vernon Lord’s unique illustrations highlight just how well Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland lends itself to the creative expression of illustrators and book designers. And that is what lies at the heart of the Alice 150 years and Counting exhibit. Lewis’ Carroll’s classic tale has been transformed again and again over time, by artists from across the world- spanning diverse cultures, artistic styles, and time periods. Picking up a different illustrated edition is like discovering the Wonderland all over again.

Whether it is the unique characters, the appeal of Alice’s story, the wit in Carroll’s text, the artwork on the page, or any combination of the elements that went into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Tenniel and Carroll were able to capture the magic of illustration and storytelling in the Alice books that continues to captivate new audiences today. As Lord wrote: “if we all know the successful recipe why certain books and illustrations become popular, we’d all be able to create classics. There lies the enigma, thank goodness.”


Amber Kohl is co-curator of the Alice 150 Years and Counting exhibit in Hornbake Library, and Special Collections Services Coordinator in Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland. She received her MLS from UMD’s iSchool and MA in History from the University of Connecticut. Her interests include the history of radical thought/revolution, book illustration, and book design.

 

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‘Alice Goes to the Movies’ Returns!

Hornbake Library is excited to announce a three-part film series- Alice Goes to the Movies. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see early Alice films and learn about how they were saved from the passage of time. David H. Schaefer, longtime Lewis Carroll collector and Alice film expert, will be sharing some of the highlights of his Alice film collection and discussing the process of restoring and digitizing them.

Join us on April 21st from 4:30-6:00pm in Hornbake Library, Room 0302H for our second film night. Dr. Schaffer will be opening the film series with a brief introduction on the role of “non-theatrical” motion pictures in contributing to the popularity of the Alice stories.  Afterward, munch on popcorn as we watch the 1915 silent film Alice in Wonderland, directed by W.W. Young. The sequence from the 1930 classic Putin’ on the Ritz,  featuring Joan Bennett dancing through Wonderland, will also be shown.

Alice at the Movies Flyer week 2

 

All are welcome – unless you are the Queen of Hearts! Whether you are interested in learning about film preservation or are one of many Alice fans, you are certain to enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure in Wonderland. Directions and parking information can be found online.

Don’t forget to visit our Alice 150 Years and Counting: Legacy of Lewis Carroll exhibit, currently on display in Hornbake Library, to explore all things Alice.

If you are a film/theater/music fan, don’t miss the exhibit Alice in the Performing Arts, now on display in the Lowens Reading Room at the Peforming Arts Library. This companion exhibit features unique Alice film items, like this book of previously unpublished Walt Disney illustrations.

Visit our online exhibit and take a look at some of the illustrations inside this and other Alice items on display!

Gallery

Shakespeare@UMD

Gordon W. Prange Collection

The University of Maryland Libraries join the UMD campus and the international community in commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Film screenings, competitions, performances, workshops, and exhibitions are taking place across campus as part of Shakespeare@UMD.  Special Collections & University Archives is exhibiting a second folio of the collected works of Shakespeare, printed in 1632, as well as several illustrated editions of Shakespeare’s plays.

Below is a sample of  Shakespeare-related materials in the Prange Collection, including translations used in textbooks, translations of movie scripts, a children’s book, and magazine articles.

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Carrollians are Coming to Hornbake Library!

RabbitLogoSmRVisit Hornbake Library this Friday and Saturday for a series of talks from the Lewis Carroll Society of North America discussing all things Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland! The society has a diverse membership of collectors, scholars, Carroll enthusiasts, and Alice fans alike. See below for the two day schedule. Talks are free and open to the public.

While you are in here, be sure to visit the Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Caroll exhibit, currently on display in the Maryland Room exhibit gallery in the 1st floor lobby.

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Friday, April 15

3:30pm-5pm Hornbake Library, Room 0302J

Wendy Crandall- “A Collector’s Profile”

Matt Crandall- “Alice in Disney-Land”

Catherine Richards- “Having A Lovely Time, Wish You Were Here”

 

Saturday, April 16

Morning Session 

10am-12pm Hornbake Library, Room 0302J

Welcoming Remarks

Ellen Schaefer-Salins- “Psychological Theories Named From the Works of Lewis Carroll”

Diane Waggoner- “Lewis Carroll’s Fancy Dress Photographs: Theater and Theatricality”

 

Afternoon Session 1

1:30pm-3:15pm Hornbake Library, Room 0302J

Michael Dirda

Eva Salins- Song: “Alice’s Dream”

Tatiana Ianovskaia and Oleg Lipchenko: “Two Outstanding Illustrators Interviewed by August Imholtz

 

Afternoon Session 2

3:30pm-5pm, Hornbake Library, Room 0302J

Chuck Howell- Dramatic Readings of “Jabberwocky” and “The Walrus and the Carpenter”

George Walker- “Illustrating Alice: Celebrating 150 Years of Artists who have Brought Carroll’s Story to Life”

Victor Fet- “Forty Russian Snarks or Boojums”