Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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News Release — February 1, 2002

Ransom Center Joins in
National Celebration of Steinbeck Centenary

John Steinbeck, Photo by Toni Frisell, c. 1965, New York.

John Steinbeck, Photo by Toni Frisell,
c. 1965, New York.

Treasures from the Ransom Center poster

"Treasures from the Ransom Center"

February 27, 2002 marks the centennial of John Steinbeck's birth. The Mercantile Library of New York, in collaboration with San Jose State University and the National Steinbeck Center, has organized a national celebration of the Steinbeck Centenary, Bard of the People: The Life and Times of John Steinbeck (www.steinbeck100.org). The Ransom Center is proud to participate in this event with an exhibition titled John Steinbeck in His Time, featuring materials from the collections, and Corresponding with John Steinbeck: Words Written from the Soul, an interactive Web exhibition.

John Steinbeck in His Time: A Centennial Exhibition

The Ransom Center celebrates the Steinbeck Centennial with John Steinbeck in His Time, an exhibition of materials related to the author and his works from the Center's collections on display in the Leeds Gallery throughout the spring. Steinbeck's books and manuscripts are coupled with photographs, advertisements, film stills, and other items offering a glimpse into the world from which his writings emerged and were received.

The exhibition includes images from the Photography Collection by Sanora Babb, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and Edward Steichen, in addition to contemporary advertisements, film stills, and original manuscripts. Excerpts from Steinbeck's correspondence and from his texts are placed throughout the exhibition and reveal the writer's thoughts on the writing process. The goal of the exhibition is to set John Steinbeck's life and works alongside images from the world he wrote about, in an attempt to situate his work within its cultural milieu. It is hoped that this focus will deepen the understanding and appreciation for one of America's most outspoken and insightful voices.

John Steinbeck in His Time: A Centennial Exhihibition will be on display Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Leeds Gallery on the fourth floor of the Peter T. Flawn Academic Center at The University of Texas at Austin. The exhibition opens on February 4 and concludes on July 31, 2002. On Steinbeck's birthday, Wednesday, February 27, there will be a birthday celebration on the West Mall and the Leeds Gallery from Noon to 5:00 and an opening reception from 5:00-7:00 in the Leeds Gallery. Music and refreshments will be provided. At noon, during the week of February 25-March 1, there will be Steinbeck Readings on the terrace at Barnes & Noble on Guadalupe. Please also visit the book table at Barnes & Noble of Steinbeck titles and pick up a free bookmark. Visit our Web site for information on events to be added, such as films and lectures.

Corresponding with John Steinbeck: A Web Exhibition

The Ransom Center is pleased to present Corresponding with John Steinbeck: Words Written from the Soul, an interactive Web exhibition designed to provide visitors with a broader understanding of the author through his letters. Using personal correspondence between Steinbeck and his close friend and editor, Pascal (Pat) Covici, along with excerpts and images from many of the author's most famous works, visitors can follow their own path in rediscovering this complex and multifaceted man.

Excerpts selected from among the hundreds of letters exchanged between the two men provide viewers with the opportunity to discover who Steinbeck was ­ through his work habits, his philosophical outlooks on life and on writing, his personal tragedies and victories. Dust jackets, edited manuscripts, photographs, promotional materials, and other visual accompaniments will both compliment and complicate the exchanges between Steinbeck and Covici.

Considered one of the world’s finest cultural archives, the Ransom Center houses 30 million literary manuscripts, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs, and over 100,000 works of art. Highlights include the Gutenberg Bible (c. 1450), the world’s first photograph (c. 1826), important paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and major manuscript collections of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Tennessee Williams to name but a few. The Center is used extensively for research by scholars from around the world and presents numerous exhibitions and events each year showcasing its collections. Exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.




    What: John Steinbeck in His Time: A Centennial Exhibition.

    When: February 4-July 31, 2002.
    Wednesday, February 27, Steinbeck birthday party Noon-5:00, Opening reception 5:00-7:00.

    Where: The Leeds Gallery, Fourth Floor, Flawn Academic Center, West of the Tower, University of Texas at Austin.

    Hours: Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Entrance: This event is free and open to the public.

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Elizabeth Page
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Harry Ransom Center
The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7219
Austin TX 78713-7219

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