Director's Note: Leading the World's Celebration of Technicolor's Centennial
George Eastman House is deeply committed to film preservation and to advancing the understanding and appreciation of both the art and science of cinema. For the centennial of the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation, our museum has organized a multifaceted project celebrating the company’s important contribution to the history of the medium. Our institution is ideally suited for this project: our expansive collection features the Technicolor Corporate Archive, vintage Technicolor cameras, and the world’s leading collection of Technicolor film negatives, including the color-separation negatives for Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. We have a strong team of curators, researchers, and students who have worked with these unparalleled resources to organize a book, exhibition, website, and film series.
The Dawn of Technicolor, 1915–1935 is the first major publication on the first two decades of Technicolor’s history and technology. Scholars James Layton and David Pierce have authored an engaging and exhaustive volume on Technicolor’s challenging first twenty years, when it was a two-color process. Layton and Pierce, along with Crystal Kui, a graduate of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, meticulously assembled a comprehensive filmography of two-color Technicolor titles. This lavishly illustrated, 448-page book was made possible by the George Eastman House Publishing Trust Endowment. We are profoundly grateful for the foresight and generosity of Thomas Gosnell and Richard Menschel, who founded this endowment in 1990 to support the publishing activities of the museum.
Our exhibition In Glorious Technicolor, on view January 24 through April 26, highlights the company’s evolving camera technology, along with original costumes, production designs, posters, and photographs to demonstrate how color was developed and used creatively. I hope you will join me at the members’ opening celebration on January 22, when you can see this landmark exhibition before it opens to the public.
The companion website, Technicolor 100, supports our mission to share our collections with the world. Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the site will facilitate access to our outstanding collections, which have previously been accessible only in person.
During 2015, Technicolor film series organized by George Eastman House in collaboration with the Deutsche Kinemathek (Berlin), Österreichisches Filmmuseum (Vienna), and Museum of Modern Art will be exhibited at each of these august venues, bringing the glory of Technicolor to an international audience. Many of the prints for the series will be drawn from our extensive collection. The complete film retrospective will debut at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February.
At our own Dryden Theatre, we will offer a four-month series showcasing prints from the Eastman House collection and other archives. A list of the titles to be screened in January and February can be found on page 16 of the JanuaryFebruary 2015 Bulletin.
The Technicolor Project has been a truly collaborative undertaking at George Eastman House, made possible by the dedication of our staff, researchers, students, and interns and the involvement of international archives, collectors, and generous donors. I am grateful to Paolo Cherchi Usai, senior curator of our moving image department, for his vision and leadership in this ambitious project. The results are impressive. I invite you to join us in celebrating the centennial of this significant force in cinematic history.
Bruce Barnes, Ph.D.
Ron and Donna Fielding Director
January/February 2015 Bulletin