The Hood Museum of Art acquires the John Kobal Foundation photograph archive
TE continues, however, to be responsible for the world tour of the exhibition Hollywood Icons – Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation, comprising 161 photographs from the Foundation’s archive selected by the curators of this project, Robert Dance and Simon Crocker. After Porto, Portugal, in 2020, the exhibition will be shown in June in Almería, Spain.
John Kobal, film collector and historian, gathered up and saved thousands of negatives and prints being discarded by film studios during the 60s. The photographs, safeguarded by the Foundation that bears his name, have become a valuable asset not only for the study of Hollywood’s Golden Age of Cinema – with access to behind-the-scenes images, portraits and publicity photos that comprise six decades of film production – but also because they allow an analysis of the impact of the film industry on society, by systematically promoting visions of the world, ethics, morals and history.
The images also help to draw a vision about the history of American culture of the twentieth-century, revealing the functioning of the Hollywood Star System as a mass cultural production industry, a true “assembly line” for the manufacture of entertainment, glamor and fame whose influence, which extends to the present day, goes far beyond the production and exhibition of films.
More than 6000 photographs will now be part of the museum’s collection and will serve as an important educational tool for students at Dartmouth University in the study of the history of cinema and Hollywood.