Thursday, July 22, 2021

the last book I ever read (Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell, excerpt eleven)

from Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell by Deborah Solomon:

It was through Windham that Cornell met Lois Smith, a Topeka-born actress who, at twenty-five, had already embarked on a successful career on Broadway. In the fall of 1955, she was starring in The Young and Beautiful, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Josephine” stories. Cornell, of course, had always preferred staying home and dreaming about performers to actually seeing a show, so perhaps it’s not surprising that, according to Windham, he attended the play at the Longacre Theatre only to spend the evening “with his hands over his eyes,” apparently warding off a migraine. Yet he saw enough to make a collage in Lois Smith’s honor, For Josephine, named for her role, and included a photo of her cut out from a Playbill. He asked Windham to hang the collage in his apartment and give it to the actress as a gift should she pause to admire it – which she did. So began an affectionate friendship, though time did not permit the Broadway actress to appear in a Cornell movie.

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