A friend of mine sent me an original Broadway window card I wanted from 1974 of Ayn Rand’s play, A Penthouse Legend (The Night of January 16th), to add to my collection of original Objectivist-themed art and vintage Ayn Rand material.
The caption is perhaps the best advertisement for a play I’ve ever seen, not to mention a profound philosophical and aesthetic statement on what art ought to be:
IF YOU DON’T THINK the meaning of a play should be clear…or the issues black-and-white…or the actors clothed…or the plot so well-made that it keeps you guessing till the end…THIS PLAY IS NOT FOR YOU
You cannot imagine something like that on a play card today or in any advertisement for literature, film or theater. It’s quintessentially Rand.
I’ve already found myself looking at it and getting inspiration for some projects I’m working on, which is one of the main reasons why I collect — because everything I store and see daily helps me develop thoughts and ideas I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Here’s Tom Hart on this, quoting Stanislavski, in his book How to Save Everything:
You must be constantly adding to your store. For this purpose you draw… principally upon your own impressions, feelings and experiences. You also acquire material from life around you, real and imaginary, from reminiscences, books, art, science, knowledge of all kinds, from journeys, museums and above all from communication with other human beings.
The card was from a private owner, and though the original frame was falling apart, it appears to be in perfect condition. I had it reframed in a custom deep frame with acid-free backing and I’m thrilled with the results. It looks great at home next to some of my other pieces which I might share here on the blog later.
A few friends I met this past weekend while I was speaking at TOS-Con have asked me for a print copy, so if there is any interest in this, let me know in the comments or send me an email.