Farnsworth Presents The Wonderful World of Oz Exhibition on 75th Anniversary of Iconic Film
To coincide with the 75th anniversary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's classic motion picture The Wizard of Oz, the Farnsworth Art Museum will open the exhibition The Wonderful World of Oz-Selections from the Willard Carroll/Tom Wilhite Collection on Saturday, October 12, 2013. The show, drawn from the world's most comprehensive collection of Oz materials, which is based in Maine, will run through March of 2014 in the museum's Crosman Gallery. The opening will be celebrated at a members' preview and reception, on Friday, October 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. throughout the museum's galleries.
L. (Lyman) Frank Baum's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became an instant sensation upon its 1900 publication. Eventually translated into hundreds of foreign languages, the Land of Oz ultimately became a worldwide phenomenon. Oz's greatest success, however, came with the 1939 film starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, in which she made the Academy Award-winning song Over the Rainbow a national hit and touchstone of popular culture.
Included in the Farnsworth exhibition will be the most complete surviving costume (worn by the green Lollipop Guild Munchkin), one of Dorothy's pinafores and blouses, examples of the many illustrated versions of 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.
Carroll's fascination with Oz began as a young boy after seeing the 1939 movie on television, spurring a collecting bug that is still with him. His passion also became part of his professional work: he has authored three Oz-related books and created The Oz Kids animated movie series for Paramount. An Emmy Award-winning producer, Carroll began his career as a development executive at Walt Disney Studios, where Wilhite at that time was head of production. Carroll wrote and directed Miramax's all-star drama, Playing by Heart, with Sean Connery, Angelina Jolie, Dennis Quaid, and Jon Stewart; and most recently wrote and directed the romantic musical comedy, Marigold, starring Ali Larter and Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, filmed entirely in India. He is now in pre-production for his original psychological thriller, Crawl.