Origin of Dracula’s Iconic Cape
First Grosset & Dunlap edition, produced to tie in with the 1927 New York stage production of Hamilton Deane’ s first authorized theatrical adaptation of Stoker’s gothic classic. The imprint states the year of Dracula’s original publication, 1897. The stunning Art Deco jacket on this copy is in exceptionally bright condition.
Deane’s adaptation was first staged in London in February 1927, Deane taking the role of Van Helsing, Dracula being played by actor Raymond Huntley. The play headed to Broadway in October 1927, following its London run. Huntley was asked to reprise the role, but declined to do so, opening the way for an unknown Hungarian actor with an improbable accent, Béla Lugosi. With a script further streamlined for American audiences by John L. Balderston, the production ran for 261 performances on Broadway, before going on the road for a record breaking two years. The Deane/Balderston interpretation was to form the basis of Tod Browning’s 1931 production, which likewise starred Lugosi in the leading role. To fit Dracula more naturally into his new metropolitan setting, Deane created the now iconic image of the urbane count in dinner jacket with wing collar, and the flowing cape which facilitated his disappearance through the stage trap.
Punishing Witchcraft with Death
Early edition of the parliamentary acts for the year 1541, during the reign of Henry VIII, including the Witchcraft Act, making witchcraft a felony for the first time, punishable by death. There is a dubious reference that Athelstan made witchcraft a capital crime in 928, but this is the first explicit statute prohibiting it; prior to this witchcraft was only a non-statutory ecclesiastical offence.
The 1541 Parliament passed a large number of acts. Three others, aside from the Witchcraft Act, are of particular note – the Royal Assent by Commission Act, authorizing the execution of Catherine Howard, the Unlawful Games Act, which required all men to practice archery and banned games which were seen as distracting from archery, and the Act tor due Process to be had in High Treasons, in Cases of Lunacy or Madness. The last is what appealed to a former owner of this copy, Bernard Lee Diamond (1912-1990), professor of law and psychiatry at the University of California, Berkeley – his slip of notes is loosely inserted, noting this as “the first statute in English law concerned with the mentally ill criminal offender… the statute complains that there have been many cases of persons accused of high treason who, after their arraignment, claim to have fallen into insanity. The law goes on to state that it is impossible to tell who are really insane and who are faking; therefore, all such cases are to be tried as if they were sane, but in absentia”. This is particularly appropriate – Diamond was an expert witness for the trial of Sirhan Sirhan, the killer of Robert F. Kennedy, and the defense case was based on Diamond’s testimony that Sirhan was suffering from diminished capacity at the time he fired.
Performing Arts Collection
DRAG QUEENS FROM OUTER SPACE (ca. 1986) Poster designed by Mel Byars for New York City stage production of Drag Queens from Outer Space by Sky Gilbert. Gilbert is a preeminent name in LGBTQ theater, and an enormous influence on Canadian theater. This play followed Gilbert’s equally successful Drag Queens on Trial (1985).
CABARET IN THE SKY: AN EVENING WITH HOLLY WOODLAWN AND JACKIE CURTIS (1974) Poster designed by Richard Bernstein for a now legendary live performance by Warhol superstars Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis.
THE NORMAL HEART (1985) Poster for the Los Angeles premiere of The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s trenchant play about the early, catastrophic days of the AIDS epidemic and its impact upon the gay male community of New York. This production starred Richard Dreyfuss, Kathy Bates and Bruce Davison, and was directed by Arvin Brown.
END AS A MAN: A Play in Three Acts by… (1953) An important typescript of this play, which remains to this day unpublished. Novelist Calder Willingham took his 1947 novel about a southern military academy and adapted it into a 1953 play, which premiered off-Broadway. It was then in turn adapted into a 1957 film, THE STRANGE ONE. Both the play and the film were directed by Jack Garfein, a key member of the Actors Studio, and various members of the off-Broadway cast, including Ben Gazzara and Pat Hingle, also appeared in the film. The story, about a sadistic upperclassman who manipulates and domineers others, had clear homoerotic overtones on stage. In fact, when New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther reviewed the 1957 film, he referenced “a homosexual angle, so strong in the play.” Portrayals of same-sex attraction were seldom seen on the Broadway stage in mid-century theater, and this play is a significant milestone.
Charles “Buddy” Weill, Jr. Papers
The Charles “Buddy” Weill, Jr. Papers contain information about the Greensboro, NC philanthropist. Weill owned Weill Investment Company, and was the former President and CEO of Robins & Weill, Inc. He was a Legacy Member and former District Vice President of the Society of Industrial & Office Realtors and the Counselors of Real Estate; a member of the Community Foundation Real Estate Management Committee and Former Director of its Board of Directors; member of The Rotary Club of Greensboro and a past President; member of the Greensboro Country Club and a Charter member of Investors of Greensboro NC, LLC. Weill helped to establish the Well-Spring Retirement Community. The collection contains personal papers, business records, photographs, scrapbooks, textiles, and artifacts relating to Weill and his family.
Linen Press from the Alumni House
This linen press was transferred from the Alumni House. It is thought to have originated in the campus laundry, which was built in 1905 on Walker Avenue and used until 1948. It was renovated in 1954 to house the first television facility on campus and razed around 1966 or 1967 when the Carmichael Building was built.
Portrait of Charles Duncan McIver
This portrait of first president and founder of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNC Greensboro) was transferred from the Foust Building where it hung for many years in the lobby.