|Thursday May 23, 2013||Bill Douglas Centre > Current Events|
BDC on TV
The BDC featured on national TV, appearing on Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, broadcast on BBC2 on 24 October 2011. In the show celebrity guest, Craig Revel Horwood, of Strictly Come Dancing fame, explored the museum - we created a special display of dance related items for Craig. Here's an example - The Fred Astaire Dance Album.
Elizabeth Taylor 1932-2011
To commemorate the recent death of Elizabeth Taylor, one of the last great movie stars, a temporary public display showcasing our many artefacts based on the life and career of this most iconic of figures was on display in the summer of 2011. The display was put together by first year English students Hannah Lamarque, Ken Ross and Emma Sorrell and includes items covering her life from her earliest film appearances as a teenager, through her tumultuous marriages and collaborations with Richard Burton, to her status as a household name long after she stopped making films. Here is a link to a article by Hannah, a volunteer at the Centre, on putting together the display and the allure of Taylor as a movie icon. Elizabeth Taylor by Hannah Lamarque. You can also find photographs of many of our great Liz Taylor artefacts on our facebook site - just put 'Bill Douglas Centre' into facebook or Google.
CHRONICLING STEPHEN FRY'S FILM CAREER
Author and broadcaster Stephen Fry's new memoir The Fry Chronicles tells the story of his first screen experience when he first left Cambridge - a script for Don Boyd's Gossip in 1981. As we hold the archive for the filmmaker Don Boyd we were able to supply Stephen a copy of his script for the film and he gave the centre a generous acknowledgement in the book. .
THE ANTHONY ATTARD COLLECTION
We are pleased to announce the donation of ‘The Anthony Attard Collection’ to the Bill Douglas Centre. Anthony Attard is a writer who worked in the film industry in the UK and Hollywood in the 1970s and 1980s and has very kindly donated papers related to his career; including scripts, awards, treatments, material from his study at the National Film School and correspondence with major cinema figures such as Lindsay Anderson and David Puttnam.He has also donated numerous pieces from his collection of film memorabilia accumulated over many years. Anthony has recently returned to the UK with his wife Barbara after many years in France and has a particular affinity with the West Country since serving with the Royal Navy from 1957-1961 when Plymouth was his home port. The Bill Douglas Centre is very grateful to Anthony for this donation, which adds to our significant holdings of filmmakers’ papers on the British film industry of the 70s and 80s, as well as our unparalleled collection of movie memorabilia.
PETER JEWELL JOINS THE COLLEGE OF BENEFACTORS
On 12th July 2010, at graduation ceremonies for students who have completed their degrees in English and Film, there was a special ceremony to induct Peter Jewell into the University's College of Benefactors. Peter is The Bill Douglas Centre's principal donor and it is the amazing collection of artefacts that he put together with Bill Douglas that forms the heart of the museum and research activities at the BDC.
Peter becomes one of the few individuals who have become members of the prestigious College of Benefactors, in which the University acknowledges its most important donors. Induction into the College is the highest honour that the University can bestow upon its donors, and Peter's induction is in recognition of his extraordinary generosity the importance of The Bill Douglas Centre to the life of the University of Exeter.
BDC at RUDE BRITANNIA
The main exhibition at Tate Britain in the summer of 2010 was ‘Rude Britannia: British Comic Art’, which included Charlie Chaplin items loaned from the Bill Douglas Centre. The popular exhibition is a celebration of three centuries of satire, bawdiness and the absurd by British artists from Rowlandson and Gillray to Gerald Scarfe and Viz Magazine. More details on the exhibition can be found at http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/britishcomicart/default.shtml
Tate curators came to the University of Exeter to see the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture (BDC) collections because they were keen to represent the influence of Charlie Chaplin on comic art.They were loaned comic books featuring the little tramp from as early as 1915 and comic postcards from the same period. Publicity material from Chaplin’s 1940 classic The Great Dictator is used in the political satire section of the exhibition. Comic icons and the development of comic strips form a significant part of the exhibition.
Bill Douglas Centre Curator Phil Wickham, who attended the launch of the exhibition, said ‘We were delighted to be involved in ‘Rude Britannia’ and to have loaned artefacts to Tate Britain, such as the two postcards which illustrate the extent the extent of Charlie’s fame in the WW1 period. This reflects the value and importance of our collections on cinema and popular culture, as well as the enduring influence of Chaplin as a comic figure.BBC4’s Rude Britannia programme, which is being broadcast from 14-16th June to coincide with the exhibition, also consulted the BDC collections. The second programme features the mutoscope or ‘What the Butler Saw’ machine – a device that derives from Edison’s Kinestescope. The lower gallery in the Bill Douglas Centre museum features an original working mutoscope and the Centre also features Donald McGill postcards, raising laughs from the popular seaside machine.
New Temporary Display in the BDC - Michael Powell 1905-1990
BDC student volunteers Jade Cancelliere and Rachael Grant have curated a new display to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the death of the visionary British director Michael Powell. The display uses a range of objects from our collections, including a signed copy of a shooting script from one of his first films 'Her Last Affaire' and a copy of the book of 'A Matter of Life and Death' autographed by both Powell and Emeric Pressburger, as well photographs, lobby cards, postcards and other memorabilia.
Michael Powell is recognised, along with Hitchcock, as perhaps the greatest of all British filmmakers. The films he made under the name 'The Archers', along with Emeric Pressburger, are known for their startling use of colour, drama, and fantasy in portraying Britain and its people.
Jade and Rachael, who have just graduated from the University, are long-standing volunteers in the BDC. Rachael says 'I was drawn to Michael Powell by the vibrancy and passion embodied by his films, and was delighted to share my enthusiasm for his work with the public through the display'. Jade wrote about Powell's films in her dissertation and adds that 'Encountering Powell's work first inspired me to study film. Putting together this display was a fantastic opportunity to engage with materials that represent his artistry as a filmmaker'.
On the Move Visualising Action
The Bill Douglas Centre, the University’s museum, loaned items to the Estorick Collection in London for their exhibition On the Move Visualising Action, which was curated by Jonathan Miller. Phil Wickham, the Curator of the Bill Douglas Centre says; ‘We are very pleased that we are able to loan these important items from our collection to Dr.Miller’s exhibition at the Estorick Collection. Our artefacts illustrate important steps forward in the evolution of the moving image and the links it makes between science and popular entertainment. The loan also demonstrates the international importance of the The Bill Douglas Centre’s holdings.’
The exhibition combines the Estorick’s collection of Italian futurist art with artefacts that illustrate the race to understand movement through photography in the nineteenth century. The Bill Douglas Centre has loaned the exhibition key items in this history, including a Kineograph, one of the first flick books ever produced in the 1860s, a double pulley lantern slide from around 1850, and a Kinora, a mechanised flick book from the first decade of the twentieth century that was used to show film reels in the home. The exhibition ran from January to April 2010.
New Temporary Displays
Two new temporary exhibitions were displayed in The Bill Douglas Centre in early 2010. As usual the temporary exhibitions were curated and assembled by teams of students working with the collections. 'Filming the Future' was put together by Jade Cancelliere, Rachael Grant, and Laura Goldfinch and is based on their studies on the Spectacular Attractions module run by Film Studies within the English department. The exhibition used artefacts from the Centre to look at visions of the future across film history, from the work of Georges Melies to recent blockbusters. The display ran from January to July 2010.
'Questioning the Auteur' was curated by James Panting, Helen Sciacaluga, Thomas Ayre, and Chi Chi Huang, who were all students on the Auteur Studies module run by Film Studies in Modern Languages. The team used objects from the collection to raise questions about the notion that the director is the author of films, and to think about the role that stars, cinematographers, writers, and others play in creating a film.
Vivien Leigh Symposium 2009
On Thursday 24th September Topsham Museum hosted a celebration of Vivien Leigh and 70 years of Gone with the Wind. The event was organised in association with The Bill Douglas Centre and featured a number of speakers talking about the career of this most enigmatic of British actresses. There will also be a special exhibition on the star drawing on from the holdings of both Topsham Museum and the BDC. For more details and booking Click Here
Exeter Polish Film Festiwal
We are delighted to have participated in the Exeter Polish Film Festival, which ran in the city from 10th March to May. The festival was organised through the Polish Cultural Institute in London, with variations for its regional tour and the local Polish community and Exeter's arts bodies have worked together closely to put together an exciting programme of events.
An exhibition of BDC artefacts related to Polish cinema, curated by BDC volunteer Sophie Midgley,was displayed in Exeter Central Library in April. Many films were also shown in the University's Campus Cinema and a selection of posters - Poland is famous for its cinema poster art - were displayed in venues around the City and the University. More information on the festival can be found at the Polish Film Festival website
A Gift from Orson Welles
We are very pleased to announce a new donation to The Bill Douglas Centre - a silver plate inscribed by Orson Welles as a thank you gift to British cameraman Ted Lloyd.
The plate was kindly donated to the Centre by Ted Lloyd's daughters; Chris Lloyd, Janet Rogers and Rosemary Smith.
Ted Lloyd (1913-1987) was a senior cameraman who worked extensively in the British film and TV industries for many years. He and Orson Welles became friends while filming a TV programme about 'Moby Dick' and Welles presented the silver plate to Ted to thank him for his help. You can find out more on the item, and on Ted Lloyd's career by selecting 'EVE Online Catalogue' from the menu on the left of the home page, then 'Catalogue of Collections'. Now just enter 'Ted Lloyd' into 'Search the BDC'.
Adaptation Temporary Display 2009
Also now displayed outside the upper stack in the old library is a display case which uses items from The Bill Douglas Centre collections to explore ideas about adaptation in films. The display –entitled ‘Page, Stage, Screen and Beyond: The Story of Adaptation’ was put together by a group of students – PhD candidates Sarah Fanning and Jennifer Barnes supervising undergraduates Anna Thorp, Liz Anderson, Liz Mooney, and Nicola Browning. The artefacts include material on Shakespeare, Dickens, Dracula and fairy tales.
Sarah and Jennifer say that ' the exhibition presents a range of artefacts that relate to the process of adaptation and that highlight the varied resources held within the Bill Douglas Centre. The exhibit itself tells a story, which traces the development of an original work into its many incarnations. We have tried to highlight adaptation as a continuous process, a process that ultimately informs and redefines our understanding of the original work.
As part of the Animated Exeter! festival a group of students devised a temporary exhibition using some previously unseen treasures from the BDC's animation collections, including recent acquisitions from the Robin Allan Collection. MA student James White supervised a group of 7 undergraduates in putting together the case: Michelle Zappa, Samantha Owen, Mark Johnston, Shona Roberts, Frances Atkins, Jessica Short and Freny Sepai. James says of the project ' the students worked as a great team and discovered some fantastic artefacts, creating a cohesive display on the history and process of animation'.
The case contains items ranging from Felix the Cat cards and merchandise from the 1920s to recent animated stars such as Buzz Lightyear and Pikachu, as well as original Disney Cels from the 1950s. Through these items we can trace developments in animation techniques, marketing, and the history of the form. The case will remain on display up to the end of May - it is situated just beyond the upper gallery at the top of the stairs taking you down to the lower level. Here are some more pictures of the exhibits:
Voices from the Popular Past: Talk in Exeter on the BDC
As part of the City's celebration of International Women's day, BDC volunteer and University of Exeter PhD student Lisa Stead will be discussing her research using the Bill Douglas Centre collections. Lisa has explored materials from the 1920s, particularly fan magazines, looking for traces of how everyday women experienced popular culture post-war and post-suffrage. By looking at the way cinema featured in the daily lives of 1920s women, she uncovers a myriad of voices which show us how extraordinary, energetic and engaged these women and their experiences were.
The talk will be at St.Stephen's Church, High Street, Exeter at 7.30 on 12th March 2009. Admission is free.
Chaplinalia - BDC material at BFI Southbank
Material from the Bill Douglas Centre's vast collection of Charlie Chaplin memorabilia -including toys, games, comics, and postcards -was on display as part of the BFI's Chaplinalia exhibition at the mezzanine gallery at BFI Southbank this summer. Also exhibited were items from other sources, such as Chaplin's original hat, cane and suit sported by the 'little tramp'.
Two new temporary exhibition cases were on display in The Bill Douglas Centre in 2008. Upstairs there was a display celebrating the centenary of the birth of one of Hollywood's most powerful actresses, Bette Davis.
Downstairs we had a case that looks across a range of stars entitled 'British Stars National to Transnational'. Featuring artefacts associated with Jean Simmons, John Mills, Laurence Olivier, Debroah Kerr, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, and James Mason, the display examines the connections betwen these personalities and the nature of their celebrity in Britain and Hollywood.
Both cases were devised by undergraduate students supervised by two Film Studies PhD candidates, Lisa Stead and Andrew Nelson, who have been volunteering in the centre over the last few months.
Lisa explains more about the project here - BDC Student Displays
This was the first in an ongoing series of temporary exhibitions devised by students from across the university using collections at the Bill Douglas Centre. New student led displays will be appearing at the BDC in Febrauary 2009
Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)
An exhibition celebrating the life of Eadweard Muybridge, British-born photographer and pioneer of early studies of human and animal locomotion. Includes examples of his early stereophotography, his panoramic view of San Francisco and illustrations from his published work on the photography of motion.
The Old Library, The University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4SB
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