- Downes, Willard
- Call number
- *T-Vim 1998-003
- Physical description
- 2 oversized folders, 15 X 18 in
- Preferred Citation
- Willard Downes portraits of Donald Crisp and Miriam Hopkins, Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library
- Billy Rose Theatre Division
- Access to materials
- Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Consists of two black and white portraits in ink and wash, signed, of film actors Donald Crisp and Miriam Hopkins.
Artist Willard Downes was commissioned by the major motion picture studios in the 1930s to do publicity sketches of the big name stars of the era. A Virginia-born painter and commercial illustrator, he was a staff artist for three New York newspapers: THE HERALD TRIBUNE, THE JOURNAL AMERICAN, and THE BROOKLYN EAGLE and his illustrations appeared in many magazines such as THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, LIFE, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING and COLLIERS. He was also an art director at various advertising agencies and exhibited his paintings at museums and galleries.
Scottish-born actor Donald Crisp, who began his theatrical career singing opera, had a long career as an actor and director of movies, from his early days with D.W. Griffith through the 1960s. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY in 1941.
American actress Miriam Hopkins, film star of the 1930s, made her theatrical debut as a chorus girl in THE MUSIC BOX REVUE in 1921. Her starring roles were in films such as TROUBLE IN PARADISE, DESIGN FOR LIVING, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and BECKY SHARP. Her later career was mainly on the stage in summer stock and touring companies and character parts in films.
Source of acquisitionPortraits: Purchase, Paulina Downes, 02/11/1998
Using the collection
LocationBilly Rose Theatre Division
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-7498