Over 6,000 Photographs of Old Hollywood Acquired by the Hood Museum

Attributed to James Manatt, Buster Keaton for Go West (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1925), gelatin silver print. (Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: the John Kobal Foundation Collection: Purchased through the Mrs. Harvey P. Hood W’18 Fund. Object photo by Jeffrey Nintzel.)

More than 6,000 Hollywood photographs have entered the collection of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The images span the history of Hollywood from 1916 to the 1970s and include film production stills, portraits, and publicity shots. They previously belonged to John Kobal, a film historian who wrote over 30 books on movies and movie photography; built an unrivaled collection of Hollywood portrait photography; and curated some of the first major exhibitions on the era.

Some of the images in the acquisition are by unknown photographers, while others are by figures such as Ernst Haas and Arthur F. Kales. Highlights include an atmospheric photograph attributed to Milton Brown depicting Lillian Gish shoveling sand in The Wind (1928), which was among the last silent films released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and John Engstead’s portrait of Marlon Brando for A Streetcar Named Desire, taken in 1950. The collection also includes Ernest A. Bachrach’s 1940 photo of French actress Michèle Morgan donning a chic getup and holding two canine sculptures by a leash.

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