Much-Anticipated Tennessee Williams Exhibit Opens At Harry Ransom Center

Add this to your list of reasons to be excited about the new month that starts tomorrow: new exhibits open up on campus.

One of the most awaited is “Becoming Tennessee Williams” at the Harry Ransom Center. 

The exhibit features more than 250 items — manuscripts, letters, photographs, and artwork — that illuminate the creativity of one of the country’s most important playwrights. Williams brought the world “The Glass Menagerie,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” The first two, particularly, were said to reinvent American theater in the mid- to late-1940s.

“There is no more influential 20th-century American playwright than Tennessee Williams,” says the exhibition’s curator, Charlotte Canning. Canning is also a professor in UT’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

The Ransom Center has steadily built a treasure chest of Williams holdings, starting with the playwright’s own papers and continuing with papers from his mother and manuscripts from Gotham Book Mart, so the exhibition is sure to be fascinating.

The center’s galleries are open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with hours extended until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, and weekends from noon to 5 p.m. Another exhibition, Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century, (featuring a Picasso plate) also opens tomorrow.

Tennessee Williams signs the Ransom Center’s “authors’ door” during a 1973 visit. Photo by Frank Armstrong. Image courtesy of the Ransom Center.


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