Archive of material relating to actress Lillian Gish, including Gish's portable typewriter, two original manuscripts for her 1969 book "The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me," and various ephemera
Various American Cities: Various, 1960s-1970s. Archive of material relating to Lillian Gish's 1969 memoir "The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me," including author Lillian Gish's Olivetti Lettera 22 portable typewriter used to type the manuscript for the book, as well as two manuscripts for the book: one typescript with editorial annotations in holograph pencil throughout, and one mimeographed copy. The archive also includes a First Edition copy of the book, with the bookplate of actor and producer Frank Buxton affixed to the front pastedown. Bookplate signed by Gish, and laid in with the book is a warm manuscript note from Gish.
Also included in the archive are several scripts for Gish's one-woman touring show "Lillian Gish and the Movies—The Art of Film 1900-1928," housed in two binders, circa 1973. One binder holds two copies of the same script (one carbon typescript and one xerographically duplicated) dated 1973, with a note at the front indicating the script as the personal property of Lillian Gish. The other binder, undated, holds a xerographically duplicated script, circa 1973.
Additionally included are approximately 40 pages (a mix of typescript and carbon typescript) from an unpublished book by Gish, "The Faith of Lillian Gish," with editorial and substantive annotations in Gish's hand throughout, as well as two copied proposals for the book and a small dossier of xerographically duplicated biographical material about Gish's early life. Lastly, the archive includes four fliers and four programs for her touring show, circa 1979, as well as two posters and a first day of issue cover promoting a D.W. Griffith stamp produced by the US Postal Service in 1975.
Often referred to as "The First Lady of American Cinema," Lillian Gish was one of the most successful actresses of the silent era. After a decade of work as a stage actress, Gish made her film debut with her sister Dorothy in legendary director D.W. Griffith's one-reel film "An Unseen Enemy" (1912). Griffith helped cultivate Gish's innocent, ethereal image, casting her in his popular 1915 film "The Birth of a Nation," as well as in "Intolerance" (1916), "Broken Blossoms" (1919), "Way Down East" (1920), and "Orphans of the Storm" (1921). After the advent of sound film Gish returned to the stage, with occasional film and television appearances, including an Oscar-nominated performance in "Duel in the Sun" in 1946.
A lifelong advocate for film preservation, Gish was instrumental in obtaining the Griffith collection of films for the Museum of Modern Art, and in her later years gave lectures on the early film industry, touring internationally and often accompanied by screenings of newly restored silent films. She received a Special Academy Award in 1971, and an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, becoming the second female recipient of the latter. Gish is today remembered for pioneering the art of screen acting, lending artistry and legitimacy to a burgeoning medium.
Fliers: 11 x 17 inches. Two printed on white paper, and two printed on heavy yellow cardboard stock. Near Fine.
Programs: 5.5 x 9.5 inches. Bifold. About Fine.
Griffith posters: 30 x 41 inches and 11 x 14 inches. Fine.
Envelope: 6.5 x 3.75 inches. Fine.
Typewriter housed in original brown canvas carrying case, with British Airways Concorde paper tag. Very Good plus, moderately worn.
"The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me" typescript: Approximately 185 pages. Unbound, housed in a mailing envelope. Near Fine, lightly edgeworn.
"The Faith of Lillian Gish" material: Approximately 50 pages. Near Fine.
"Lillian Gish and the Movies" scripts: Approximately 125 pages. Housed in black spring binders. Near Fine.
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