Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Cataloguing milestones

Well, that's me finally finished cataloguing all the A-Z correspondence files - it felt like a never ending task at times but at least the material I'm cataloguing has been very interesting.  The thing about being in an office on your own though is when you do reach a milestone like this there's no one to celebrate with!  It does feel like a pretty big achievement when you complete one section, especially one as big as this one was, with over 3800 items!  It was with great satisfaction that I scored all those files off my timetable!

Today I am not on my own as my room mate Isabelle is in so I'm doing a good job of distracting her from her dissertation with my interesting finds in the named correspondence files.  Yes, once again I'm back to 'A', well 'B' now to be more precise - cataloguing the correspondence between Lindsay Anderson and the artist Don Bachardy, from the named correspondence files.  Bachardy is an artist who paints the most beautiful portraits but is perhaps better known (well he was to me anyway) as the long-term partner of Christopher Isherwood.  Indeed the recent Tom Ford film A Single Man, based on the book by Isherwood, was inspired by a break-up between Bachardy and Isherwood, although in real life the break up was short lived and they were together until Christopher Isherwood died in 1986. 

I am only half way through their correspondence together and I found an interesting description by Anderson of why he felt Bachardy is such a talented artist "they manage to be both portraits and a collective self-portrait, which makes the whole collection a single work - as well as being a wonderfully perceptive and acute assembly of individual studies" [here Anderson is referring to a book of Bachardy's portraits which has just been published].  I thought this definition of Bachardy's talent could be transferred quite easily to film and seems to sum up Anderson's attitudes to his own creative work as a film director "no film can be too personal". 

There are lots of fantastic photographs and colour images of Bachardy's paintings in the file but I would never want to use these without first seeking the permission of the artist.  Instead I thought I would show these images - an invitation to an exhibition of Bachardy's portraits of actors carried out during the shooting of Robert Altman's Short Cuts. 

Invitation to exhibition of The 'Short Cuts' portfolio by Don Bachardy, LA/5/1/2/3/14
© Lindsay Anderson Collection, University of Stirling Archives

Invitation to exhibition of The 'Short Cuts' portfolio by Don Bachardy, LA/5/1/2/3/14
© Lindsay Anderson Collection, University of Stirling Archives

I have just checked online and the Short Cuts portraits painted by Don Bachardy have been published with the script for Short Cuts.  You can see the front cover of the published script with some of Bachardy's work (though the quality of the image is poor) on Amazon.

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Cataloguing is indeed a lonely job at times, but a very satisfying one too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! Yes, it is very satisfying, both getting through large numbers of files but also the satisfaction when a bit of detective work pays off in valuable information about a particular item or file

    ReplyDelete