The William S. Hart Collection consists of nine boxes of photographs documenting
Hart's professional life as both an actor and a director in Hollywood from 1917
1921. The images include portraits, production stills, credits, sketches, and
background photos. The collection was assembled by LeRoy Stone, who produced many
Hart's features. Arrangement is by accession number as assigned by the Ransom
Center. The folders reflect Stone's organization of the items by portraits,
individual and company production stills, and miscellaneous photos.
The photographs document Hart's personal and dramatic vision of the American West
reveal his stature as man and artist. During his brief, successful career in silent
films (1914-1925), Hart made about 20 short films and nearly 50 feature films.
bulk of the collection provides stills for 22 of these features (see alphabetical
list of film titles at the end of this inventory). The personal photos include
candid shots taken of Hart speaking at a political rally in Brooklyn, N.Y., and
'civilization photos' depicting various unidentified urban scenes.
The studios backing the production of Hart's silent features include Triangle Film
Corporation (which absorbed the New York Motion Picture Company, the
Reliance-Majestic Company, and Keystone Comedies), under the direction of Thomas
Ince; Paramount-Artcraft; and William S. Hart Productions. The production stills
the collection were photographed by Joe August (1890-1947).
The collection also contains production stills from films starring Hart's
contemporaries, such as actor Charles Ray (Claws of the
Hun; His Mother's Boy; 9 O'Clock Town; Eaglet of White Wild),
and actresses Enid Bennett and Dorothy Dalton. It is probable that these stills
included in the collection because Stone produced the films.
Also present are portraits of actresses in Hollywood during the 1910s and 1920s. The
studio photographers represented are Evans and Witzel, both of Los Angeles, and
Moody, of New York. Signed portraits of Gloria Swanson and Alma Hanlon are a