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Elizabeth Taylor on University at Buffalo Campus

Posted on: | by Scott Hollander | No Comments

Elizabeth Taylor on University at Buffalo CampusSurprise Appearance of Elizabeth Taylor

On September 20, 1957, actress Elizabeth Taylor and her third husband, Hollywood movie producer Mike Todd, spent the day on the University at Buffalo campus. Elizabeth Taylor’s presence was a delightful surprise as only Mike Todd had been expected.

Mike Todd was invited to Buffalo, NY to give a boost to the city of Buffalo’s 125th Anniversary World Port Celebration going on that month.

Taylor and Todd were the guests of honor at a luncheon at the University at Buffalo, attended by local college officials and theater groups. In the afternoon, Todd delivered a lecture on “the spirit of showmanship” at U.B.  (see “Todds Score Hit in UB Appearance” Buffalo Courier-Express, 21 September 1957)

Later that evening, Taylor and Todd were on hand to open the Buffalo World Port Celebration at Buffalo Civic Stadium. After being introduced, Todd jokingly told the crowd he was grateful to be introduced as Mike Todd and not as “Mr. Elizabeth Taylor.”

The Elizabeth Taylor photos are part of the Clifford C. Furnas Collection digital collection and come from the University Archives.


Sparkle Furnas and Jane Keeler with Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd  Chancellor Clifford C. Furnas holds umbrella for Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, Mike Todd Jane Keeler with Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd


Todds Score Hit in UB AppearanceTodds Score Hit in UB Appearance

A lecture on the spirit of showmanship by Mike Todd received the full treatment at the University of Buffalo yesterday. It turned out to be a Hollywood production starring Elizabeth Taylor, Chancellor Clifford C. Furnas and a variety of deans, professors and students acting as extras.

The script — if there was any — and the formalities were tossed aside as soon as the Todds and their party arrived on the campus. Only Todd had been expected.

Chancellor Furnas, who admits having been a good athlete but a poor bit player in his days, gave a superb performance as host. Enjoying the role to the hilt. Dr. Furnas gallantly escorted Miss Taylor under his umbrella, opened car doors and shooed pursuing students hungry for autographs.

The first scene took place in the faculty club. Faculty members came down from their ivory towers to chat with the Todds.

“It’s the first time I came along with Mike on one of his lecture,” Miss Taylor confided. She explained she was sick last year when Mike went to Harvard, Yale and Oxford while movie making. But, she added, she was duly filled in on his activities and speeches.

Todd, a product of the consolidated schools of Bloomington, Mo., hobnobbed with the UB professors to the everlasting glory of both institutions. He explained that though he never went to college, he picked up plenty of postgraduate education on the streets of Chicago and Minneapolis.

Scene Two found the Todds, Chancellor and Mrs. Furnas, the deans, professors and about 60 theater and TV personalities together for an intimate luncheon in the new Tower Residence. Todd was presented an honorary membership by the Blue Masquers, the UB drama club.

He has already grossed $16 million with his “Around the World.” His next Todd-AO movie “Don Quixote” will be filmed in Spain starting next Spring. Miss Taylor and Todd then rushed to Capen Hall for Scene Three — and Todd’s lecture on showmanship. Dr. Furnas watched warily as dozens of students skipped their classes to have their beanies, textbooks and notebooks autographed by their dream girl.

At this point, Miss Taylor was told to stand so that everyone in the overflowing hall could take a good look. She stood up, revealing to all her simple silk taffeta two-piece dress with crossover high V-neckline  and her black silk and velvet hat hugging her head with white appleblossoms. The audience cheered. Mike glowed.

Mike took over after being introduced by Prof. Stanley D. Travis, chairman of the department of drama and speech, as the “superlative showman and fantabulous Mike Todd.” In a rambling discourse on film and moneymaking, Todd passed along the following comments:

Not everyone can get out of school, make ‘Around the World in 80 Days” and marry Elizabeth Taylor.

If you make $50 doing something pleasant, you are better off than making $100 at something you don’t like.

Movies are on the way out unless they keep up with the changing tastes of the public.

Buffalo Courier-Express, September 21, 1957

Vintage Buffalo, NY Advertisements

Posted on: | by Scott Hollander |

Take another walk down memory lane…

One of our most popular blog posts, from October 2012, was about vintage Buffalo, NY advertisements.

Our second installment features more Western New York business advertisements seen throughout the issues of the Spectrum, the University at Buffalo’s Student Newspapers as well as one large advertisement for Simon Pure Beer taken from the October 21, 1961 U.B. Bulls Football Program.


Zar-pas Charcoal Texas Hots
“Zar-pas Charcoal Texas Hots”
UB Spectrum, 27 April 1956
 Pat's - World's Best Charcoaled Hots
“Pat’s World’s Best Charcoaled Hots”
UB Spectrum, 21 April 1961
 RON-LEE Take-Out Dinners
“RON-LEE Take-Out Dinners”
UB Spectrum, 16 March 1962

Iroquois Beer & Ale
“Iroquois Beer & Ale”
UB Spectrum, 12 February 1954

“Iroquois Beer & Ale”
UB Spectrum, 8 January 1960
Iroquois Beer & Ale
“Iroquois Beer & Ale”
UB Spectrum, 14 April 1961

 Peking Chinese and American Restaurant
“Peking Chinese and
American Restaurant”

UB Spectrum, 7 October 1955
 The Shetland House Restaurant
“The “Shetland House Restaurant”
UB Spectrum, 6 March 1959
 Chicken Delight
“Chicken Delight”
UB Spectrum, 22 March 1961

The William Simon Brewery - 1961

“The William Simon Brewery”
U.B. Bulls Football Program – October 21, 1961

 

Announcing the Harry Jacobus Collection

Posted on: | by James Maynard, Ph.D. |

Harry Jacobus CollectionThe Poetry Collection is happy to announce the opening for research of a new Harry Jacobus Collection, selections of which are also available as a digital collection.

Harry Jacobus was deeply involved in the San Francisco Abstract Expressionism movement of the early 1950s. After serving in World War II, he moved to California, enrolling first at the Oakland School of Arts and Crafts and later The California School of Fine Arts, where he studied with Clyfford Still and David Park. He also met fellow student Jess, and in turn Robert Duncan. Together, they opened the King Ubu Gallery in December 1952, which quickly—though briefly—became the center of the avant garde art, music, and poetry scene in San Francisco. The King Ubu Gallery hosted exhibitions by artists such as Elmer Bischoff, David Park, Hassel Smith, Jess, Lyn Brockway, Roy De Forest, and Deborah Remington, as well as poetry readings and performances.

During the 50s and 60s, Jacobus traveled through Europe, particularly Hydra, Greece, as well as Mexico. Back in California, he lived at the “Ghost House” on Franklin Street and later in Stinson Beach, always remaining close to Duncan and Jess, physically as well as artistically. Jacobus was profoundly influenced by Duncan and Jess’s ideas about imagination, as well as by French Modern painters, particularly les Fauves. Artists and critics often focus on the romanticism, color, and light of Jacobus’s paintings. Duncan called him “a painter in a mixed light,” noting that his work “is an intimation of the beauty around us as it is within us.”

A full finding aid is forthcoming. In the meanwhile, please contact lpo-poetry@buffalo.edu with any questions or research queries.

LGBT at UB

Posted on: | by Amy Vilz |

LGBT at UBby Nissa Thor, UB DLIS graduate student

In 1970, in the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a group of UB undergraduates started this campus’s first undergraduate student organization for gay students, the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). GLF was both a social and political organization for gay men at UB. As the years went on and attitudes changed, the organization too changed its name to be more inclusive to the other members of the community. In 1980, GLF became the Gay People’s Alliance. In 1982, the organization changed its name once again, to Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA). Around 1989, GALA became the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance (LGBA).

The undergraduate group was not the only LGB organization on campus. UB has had groups for graduate students (GGALA) and law students (OUTLAW), as well as for faculty and staff. In fact, the Graduate Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GGALA), which unfortunately disbanded in 1996 due to lack of involvement, was the only graduate gay and lesbian student organization in Western New York.

While the name of the organization has changed over the years, the central focus has not. Providing a safe space for students to socialize and work to fight homophobia on (and off) campus, as well as events for education and celebration, such as coffee houses, conferences, ‘Coming Out Week’ and Denim Day, have remained important parts of the organization during the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Documents relating to the history of LGBT at the University at Buffalo have been digitized and are available online. This collection will continue to grow to encompass more items from the 1970s to 1990s, and in time will include the 2000’s. If you would like to donate materials related to the LGBT community at UB, please contact University Archives at lib-archives@buffalo.edu

LGBT at UB
http://digital.lib.buffalo.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/LIB-UA017


*This post is part of an occasional series written by University Archives graduate assistants and practicum students.  To prepare students for careers in Special Collections, our graduate assistants survey, process, and describe archival collections, digitize items for online use, and provide reference service to patrons.  These posts allow our students to share their experience and impressions of working with primary source material in the Archives.