Banned, Burned, Seized and Censored

I must be the most cultured, talented and sophisticated woman in America because friend Christine approached me to act as the photographer of record for the opening of a new exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center, Banned, Burned, Seized and Censored, a look into the art of censorship in America.

Maybe she asked me because I hold the previously stated qualities, or maybe because she knows I’m a closet dork and love the whole censorship study. But more realistically, maybe she knew I am a sucker who will do anything so long as I can bring a camera and there is gratis food and drink. Whatever. I heard the words “photography” and “censorship” and immediately, I was in.

If the pictures didn’t convince you, take my word for it. It’s an exhibition worth seeing.

Banned, Burned, Seized and Censored
Now through January 22
Harry Ransom Center


Wild At Heart

Last Friday provided us with a brand new Austin experience—namely the opening of a new exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center.

The museum is located on The University of Texas campus and routinely features exhibits that offer expanded and intriguing looks at the most interesting bits of American culture. While I’ve frequented the museum on several occasions, this was my first opportunity to attend an opening. The event, Wild at Heart, celebrated the opening of two new exhibits: Becoming Tenessee Williams (a display of the playwrite’s notes, correspondence, photographs and manuscripts which provide insight into how the author came to be) and Culture Unbound: Collecting in the 21st Century.

An admiring fan of works like A Streetcar Named Desire (for which Stella is named) andThe Glass Menagerie, I was eager to see what new insights the exhibit could provide, and the HRC does openings right.

Approach the spectacular structure and expect to find some kind of event-appropriate emblem that welcomes guests. In this case an antique streetcar accompanied by a nearby string quartet that serenaded patrons with familiar tunes from the ’20s. Inside guests are treated to light hors d’oeuvres, wine and a signature cocktail. This one was a special brew created by the Balcones Distillery that proved to be delightfully toxic. “The New Orleans” was a sweet corn-mash whiskey which was equal parts irresistable and deadly. So deadly, in fact, that we somehow never made it through the entire exhibit.

Nevertheless! The event was wealthy in  mingling opportunities, delightful delicacies and a reading of Night of the Iguana by Different Stages Theatre Company.

Of course, as is customary, the best part of the event is the parting goody bag.

Now we have enough books to keep us occupied until the next HRC extravaganza; there will be more in our future.