Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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World of Wonders Gala

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Harry Ransom Center
21st and Guadalupe

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Join us for a unique opportunity to view
ten of the most spectacular treasures in the
Ransom Center's vast collection—items from
luminaries including Albert Einstein, Vivien
Leigh, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert De Niro,
Gabriel García Márquez, and more!

If you miss it, you'll always wonder...


Honorary Chairs

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn

Author and journalist
Washington, D.C.

Journalist, author and Washington D.C. insider, Sally Quinn is the founding editor of OnFaith.co, a religion website. It is a spin-off of "On Faith", which was an interactive feature on religion at The Washington Post which she founded eight years ago. As editor-in-chief of On Faith, Quinn hosted a panel of renowned religious scholars of all denominations, making On Faith the first worldwide, interactive discussion about religion and its impact on global life.

While researching an article about religion in Washington prior to the 2000 presidential campaign, Quinn noticed that while religion had an enormous influence on worldwide politics, it was a taboo subject in our nation's capital. Following 9/11, Quinn's interest in religion grew and her passion to understand it from a personal and political perspective took on new urgency and focus.

Over the last decade, Quinn has pursued a religious education with the same drive and rigor she once gave to politics. Leveraging her rolodex from 30 years as a columnist, she sought out spiritual mentorship from religious leaders and scholars such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Karen Armstrong, Sister Joan Chittister and John Esposito. To gain emotional and spiritual perspective, she traveled to many of the world's holy sites in Rome, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Tibet, Delhi, Cairo, Ethiopia and Istanbul, and began attending several religious services and ceremonies a week at churches, temples and mosques.

Quinn has written four books: "We're Going to Make You a Star," about her short-lived experience as a co-anchor for "CBS Morning News"; "Regrets Only," her first novel; "Happy Endings," its sequel, and "The Party," in which Quinn offers an insider's look at Washington entertaining and a personal view of the value of friendship. She is currently working on a spiritual memoir entitled "Finding Magic" that will publish in September 2017.

Quinn was married to the late Benjamin Bradlee, former editor of The Washington Post, and has one son, Quinn Bradlee.

Matthew Weiner

Matthew Weiner

Writer, director, and producer
Los Angeles, CA

Nine time Emmy Award winner Matthew Weiner served as creator, Executive Producer, writer and director on the critically acclaimed drama "Mad Men." "Mad Men" premiered in 2007, going on to become one of television's most honored shows joining an elite group in 2011 when it became only the fourth drama to be awarded four consecutive Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Drama Series. In addition, "Mad Men" was Emmy®-nominated for Outstanding Drama Series consecutively from 2008 – 2015 and received an overall total of 116 Emmy® nominations during the show's eight seasons. Additional honors for the series include: three Golden Globe® Awards for Best Television Drama Series; a Peabody Award; three Producers Guild Awards; six Writers Guild Awards; two BAFTA Awards; five Television Critics Association Awards, including Program of the Year; and being named on AFI's Top 10 Outstanding Television Programs for seven consecutive years in addition to receiving a special award at the 2016 luncheon for the show's eight and final season.

Over the course of his career, Weiner has been nominated for a total of 15 Emmy's for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series including as a double nominee for final season's "Lost Horizon," written with Semi Chellas, and the series finale, "Person to Person," which Weiner also directed. He won the award for the series pilot, as well as for the Second Season episode, "Meditations in an Emergency," with Kater Gordon, and for the Third Season episode, "Shut the Door. Have a Seat." with Erin Levy. In addition, Weiner and the show's writing team won the 2016 WGA Award for Best Dramatic Series for the show's final season.

Weiner has also received Directors Guild nominations for his efforts behind the camera including for the series finale, "Person to Person," "Meditations in an Emergency" in Season Two and the Season Three finale, "Shut the Door. Have a Seat." In 2012, Weiner was awarded the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, which is given annually to television professionals who exhibit extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating television programming.

Weiner's additional credits include two Emmy nomination while serving as an Executive Producer and writer on "The Sopranos," and writer on various television comedy series including "The Naked Truth," "Becker," and "Andy Richter Controls the Universe."

In addition to his television credits, Weiner wrote and directed the feature film, "Are You Here," featuring complex performances from iconic comedic actors Owen Wilson, Zack Galifianakis and Amy Poehler. "Are You Here" is an unexpected story about family, friendship and the people who keep us afloat while facing the compromises of life.

Upcoming from Weiner is his debut novel, Heather, The Totality, a dark fable set in contemporary Manhattan about three people from two worlds who are on a collision course in pursuit of a beautiful child. Little, Brown and Company will publish it in the Fall of 2017.

Most recently, Weiner narrated the audio collection of Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems, first published in 1964. Weiner, who has cited Lunch Poems as a tremendous influence on his writing added his own voice to O'Hara's distinctive verse. Lunch Poems was released by Audible Studios, a production arm of Audible.com, in July, 2016.

In addition, Weiner was elected a seat on the Board to the Writers Guild of America, West in September, 2016 for a two-year term.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Los Angeles, Weiner studied Philosophy, Literature, and History at Wesleyan University. He also earned his MFA from the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television. Weiner currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, architect Linda Brettler, and their four sons.


The Harry Ransom Center encourages discovery, inspires creativity, and advances understanding of the humanities for a broad and diverse audience through the preservation and sharing of its extraordinary collections.

Proceeds from the World of Wonders gala will make it possible to acquire new works by important writers and artists and share these treasures with scholars, students, and the public in our Reading Room, online, and through our exhibitions and other programming.