Technicolor Donates Archive to George Eastman House
Collection of cameras and technology is cornerstone in study of color in film; Completes museum’s holdings of largest Technicolor film collection and rare papers
For Release 2010-03-25
ROCHESTER, N.Y. and HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film today announced a major gift to the museum — the historic archive of Technicolor dating from 1915 to 1974. The donation includes rare cameras, documents and drawings, photographs, printers and processing machines, corporate records, and other important materials that represent the history of Technicolor’s groundbreaking contributions to motion pictures. This collection joins the Eastman House’s current Technicolor holdings of early research papers, technology, and the world’s largest collection of Technicolor camera negatives, including The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.
“Many of the iconic films of the 20th century were photographed and presented in Technicolor, and this archive is the cornerstone piece in the study of color in motion pictures,” said Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of George Eastman House, the country’s third largest film archive and world’s largest technology collection. “The importance of this collection and monumental donation cannot be overstated.”
Technicolor, a trademark for a series of color film processes, was established close to a century ago with the goal of bringing “natural” color to motion pictures. Technicolor has played a significant role in the film industry, progressing through several color transfer methods. From 1927 to 1974, Technicolor films were the industry standard, with the year 1932 to 1955 marked as the “Glorious Age of Technicolor,” featuring the three-strip dye transfer system used in the production of many classic Technicolor films.
“Technicolor is proud to announce the gift we’ve made to George Eastman House, to preserve our corporate collection put together by Dr. Richard Goldberg,” said Joe Berchtold, head of Technicolor’s Creative Services division. “This commitment will ensure the history of Technicolor’s three-strip process — as well as two-color before it — will be preserved with full integrity.”
Goldberg, now retired, was the last head of the Technicolor Research Division and is heralded as one of the greatest color scientists in motion picture history. Eastman House worked with Goldberg to identify, clean, and catalog the materials for acquisition and preservation. Goldberg has taught classes in color technology for Eastman House’s L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation and was a personal friend of the late Jeffrey Selznick, co-founder and namesake of the school.
The museum’s existing Technicolor holdings include the historic collection of films, totaling more than 3,000 reels, as well as important documents from Technicolor pioneers, such as Kalmus’s letters and notebooks detailing the earliest processes; the diaries of Leonard Troland, Technicolor chief engineer; and the papers and letters of Dr. John Andreas, former head of Technicolor Research Department.
The Eastman House collection also includes a two-color camera dating from 1922 — one of only three known examples — plus a three-strip model D camera from 1939, one of fewer than 20 that survive.
“Combined with the existing George Eastman House archive of Technicolor papers, including those donated by our founder, Dr. Herbert Kalmus,” Berchtold noted, “the Technicolor collection will provide future generations access to the insight surrounding the many inventions and innovations Technicolor has provided the motion picture industry over the past 95 years.”
The Technicolor collection has been successfully relocated from Los Angeles to Rochester, with the transfer and storage of this collection supported by a grant from the Packard Humanities Institute. The Eastman House estimates the collection will be open to the public as soon as researchers complete itemizing, cataloging, and researching the artifacts.
About George Eastman House
George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film is located on the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman, the father of popular photography and motion picture film. Founded in 1947, the archive houses 30,000 film titles and 4 million film-related publicity stills, posters, scores, scripts, and pre-cinema artifacts. Eastman House also holds the world’s largest collection of camera technology. The Eastman House’s L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation is regarded as the premier venue of professional training in film preservation, restoration, and archiving. Annually George Eastman House restores more than 500 reels of film. The Eastman House is also the archive in which many filmmakers have chosen to preserve their films, including Cecil B. DeMille, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Ken Burns, and Kathryn Bigelow. For more information: eastmanhouse.org
With more than 95 years of experience in technological innovation, Technicolor is a leading provider of production, postproduction, and distribution services to content creators and distributors. Technicolor is one of the world’s largest film processors; the largest independent manufacturer and distributor of DVDs (including Blu-ray™ Disc); and a leading global supplier of set-top boxes and gateways. The company also operates an Intellectual Property and Licensing business unit managing more than 40,000 patents. For more information: technicolor.com
Dresden Engle, George Eastman House
office: (585) 271-3361 ext. 213
cell: (585) 319-1812
Robert Hoffman, Technicolor