08 October 2013

Oz at the Farnsworth, Opening 12 Oct.

The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, is about to open a new exhibit: “The Wonderful World of Oz—Selections from the Willard Carroll/Tom Wilhite Collection”. The exhibit coincides with the 75th anniversary of the MGM Wizard of Oz and opens on Saturday, 14 October. The museum says:
The show, drawn from the world’s most comprehensive collection of Oz materials, which is based in Maine, will run through March 2014 in the museum’s Crosman Gallery. . . .

Included in the Farnsworth exhibition will be the most complete surviving [MGM movie] costume (worn by the green Lollipop Guild Munchkin), one of Dorothy’s pinafores and blouses, examples of the many illustrated versions of [L. Frank] Baum’s books (including the finest known copy of the first edition, first state “green imprint” of Baum’s initial book in the series), rare or one-of-a-kind posters from the various motion picture and stage productions, and a remarkable array of other Oz memorabilia from the Willard Carroll / Tom Wilhite Collection.

Among the major pieces to be displayed is the Hourglass that the Wicked Witch of the West uses in the 1939 film to show Dorothy “how much longer you have to be alive.” Margaret Hamilton, who played the witch, lived during her later years on Cape Island, off Newagen, Maine.
I’m not sure “her later years,” “how much longer you have to be alive,” and “Maine” is really the juxtaposition the museum is looking for in boosting the local angle.

It looks like Willard Carroll’s book I Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog who was Toto, has been republished in connection with this exhibit and/or anniversary, and Down East is issuing a new edition of John Fricke’s The Wonderful World of Oz: An Illustrated History of the American Classic.

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