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[flag] Dates for Reunion & Commencement Weekend 2012 are May 24–27


Collecting Photographs: Ellen G. D’Oench and the Growth of a Collection

Thursday–Sunday, noon–4 p.m.
Davison Art Center, Clare Rogan, curator

When Ellen G. D’Oench was appointed Curator of the Davison Art Center in 1979, photographs were only beginning to be accepted as a serious art form within many museums. The previous Curator, Richard Field, had firmly established the Davison Art Center photography collection, yet it was D’Oench who over the next nineteen years acquired more than half of all the photographs now in the collection—over 4,000 of approximately 6,000.

Set against the rise of photography in the United States as a field for collecting, this exhibition surveys the highlights of one collection, as it was developed by one curator. By the time D’Oench retired in 1998, the medium of photography was widely acclaimed and avidly pursued. The exhibition of more than 50 photographs will include works by Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget, Aaron Siskind, and many more. Featured will a cyanotype by early photographer Anna Atkins, purchased in memory of D’Oench.

Theses Art Exhibition

Thursday–Saturday, noon–4 p.m.
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Kristina Newman-Scott, curator

Zilkha Gallery showcases the work of the Class of 2011’s thesis students in the Department of Art and Art History’s Studio Art Program. Thesis students are invited to select a single work to represent them in this year-end exhibition of drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, mixed media and architecture curated by Kristina Newman-Scott. Co-sponsored by University Relations.

The Great Sichuan Earthquake

Thursday–Sunday, noon–4 p.m.
Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Patrick Dowdey, curator

China changed the afternoon of May 12, 2008 at 2:28 when an 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan toppled buildings, destroyed roads and left over 80,000 dead. The government responded immediately with a massive rescue effort, medical help, and then housing and rebuilding; but for the first time, tens of thousands of volunteers from all over China came to the quake zone to help out any way they could. Little noted in the west, the altruistic spirit of the earthquake volunteers, survivors and PLA stirred enormous pride among Chinese around the world. This is the first US exhibition of these photographs by Chinese who themselves participated in the relief work.

Poetry at Wesleyan

Open during regular library hours.
Olin Library, Suzy Taraba ’77, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist

This exhibition features poets and poetry at Wesleyan from the 19th century to the present. Highlights of the exhibition include correspondence between Robert Frost and Maine poet laureate (and Wesleyan faculty member) Wilbert Snow, poetry readings at Russell House, and the archives of the award-winning poetry series published by Wesleyan University Press.

Peace Wanted Alive

Zelnick Pavilion

In the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, 1.5 million people live in an area the size of Central Park. The government of Kenya refuses to acknowledge Kibera's existence, leaving it without services or infrastructure such as toilets, roads, hospitals, or schools. Shining Hope for Communities, a non-profit founded by Kennedy Odede '12 and Jess Posner '09, is working to change the devastating reality of life in Kibera through the slum's first tuition-free school for girls, the Kibera School for Girls; the Shining Hope Community Center, providing job & literacy training, as well bio-latrines accessible to any Kibera residents; the Johanna Justin-Jinich Community Health Clinic; and the Women's Empowerment Initiative, which provides employment for HIV-positive women. In 2010, Shining Hope's programs reached more than 11,000 Kibera residents, and that number will more than double in the upcoming year.

Shining Hope presents 'Peace Wanted Alive,' a free exhibit featuring the work of professional photographer Bella Zanesco, as well as photos taken by students of the Kibera School for Girls. Scenes of life in Kibera, as well as photographs featuring Kibera School for Girls students and community members will be featured. The gallery will be open for viewing in the Zelnick pavilion through May 23rd.

Just Whistle...The Films of Bogart and Bacall

Friday, May 20, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Rick Nicita Gallery (first floor), Center for Film Studies, Joan Miller, head archivist

They met for the first time a few days before shooting began on their first film together, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (Warner Bros., 1944). Humphrey Bogart was 43, married, the veteran of more than fifty films, including THE MALTESE FALCON (Warner Bros., 1941), and CASABLANCA (Warner Bros., 1942), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Lauren Bacall was 19, and a protege of director Howard Hawks. She had modeled in New York, ushered in the Schubert Theatre, and performed in the ensemble of a Broadway play titled Johnny 2 x 4. TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT was her first film. They fell in love while filming–on the screen for the world to see. Off the set, she called him "Steve" and he called her "Slim," just like their characters in the film. Audiences loved the onscreen banter between the two, and when Slim said to Steve, "You know how to whistle don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and...blow," Bacall's sex appeal was cemented. The movie–shot in eleven weeks–was a hit for Warner Bros., and made Bacall a star.

It would be more than a year before Bogart and Bacall could marry. While they were waiting, Warner Bros. put them together again in another Howard Hawks-directed film titled THE BIG SLEEP (Warner Bros., 1946). Based on a Raymond Chandler novel, Bogart plays Philip Marlowe, a loner detective with a sense of humor, and Bacall the daughter of a client, and Marlowe's love interest. Though made in early 1945, the film wasn't released until after the end of World War II, because Warners needed to first release its backlog of war-related films. Directly after THE BIG SLEEP, Bacall made a film called CONFIDENTIAL AGENT (Warner Bros., 1945), in which her performance was panned, and Bacall herself called the critical reviews "destructive." This led Warners to reshoot parts of THE BIG SLEEP before its release, to spice up the sexy dialogue and undertones between Bogart and Bacall, and counter the negative publicity she had received. The film was another success for the Hollywood couple.

On May 21, 1945 Humphrey Bogart married Lauren Bacall on Louis Bromfield's farm in Mansfield, Ohio. They went on to make two more films together. The first, DARK PASSAGE (Warner Bros., 1947) is another film noir in which Bogart is a falsely accused wife-murderer. It was filmed, in part, on location in San Francisco, where the newlyweds lived at the Mark Hopkins Hotel on top of Nob Hill. The first part is filmed from Bogart's character's point of view, and his face isn't actually seen until about an hour into the picture. Bacall plays the young artist who helps him recuperate after plastic surgery to alter his appearance. Their last movie together was KEY LARGO (Warner Bros., 1948). Bogart plays a former army major who visits the home of a buddy killed in the war. Bacall plays the friend's widow, Lionel Barrymore the friend's father, and Edward G. Robinson a fugitive gangster trying to make a comeback from exile in Cuba. According to Bacall, KEY LARGO was one of her happiest film experiences.

The Bogarts had two children: Steven (after Steve in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT), and a daughter, Leslie (named for Bogart's great friend, Leslie Howard). Humphrey Bogart won an Academy Award for his role as Charlie Allnut in THE AFRICAN QUEEN (United Artists, 1951), and was nominated for his performance in THE CAINE MUTINY (Columbia, 1954). Bacall was well-received in YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN (Warner Bros., 1950), HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE (20th Century-Fox, 1953), and WRITTEN ON THE WIND (Universal, 1956). Bogart died in 1957 from cancer of the esophagus. Lauren Bacall continues to act. She married the actor Jason Robards, Jr. in 1961 (they divorced in 1969), and had a third child, Sam Robards. She was nominated for an Academy Award, and won a Golden Globe for her role in THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES (TriStar, 1996). She was nominated for three Emmy Awards for her work in television, and won two Tony Awards–for Applause (1970), and Woman of the Year (1981). Bacall wrote two autobiographies: Lauren Bacall By Myself, and Now. She received an honorary Oscar in 2009 "in recognition of her central place in the golden age of motion pictures." Her latest film is the yet-to-be-released CARMEL (2011). Lauren Bacall lives in New York City.

This exhibit is presented in conjunction with a summer series of these four Bogart and Bacall films and is sponsored by the Wesleyan University Film Studies Department and the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.