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Fox Film Corporation Publicity Photographs

Identifier: MS-2371

The Fox Film Corporation Publicity Photographs Collection contains 23 black and white photographs and silent movie stills. All but one label the names of the person pictured, except some of the stills that label the movie and only the main star. Four of the photographs are staged scenes and have the people/person in the photograph labeled on the front with the photographer's name. There are four movie stills of Theda Bara, from Lure of Ambition (1 photo), Salome (2), and Cleopatra (1); three pictures of William Furnum (two from The Last of the Duanes); and ten portraits of George Walsh (2), Gladys Brockwell (2), Peggy Hyland (2), Madlaine Traverse (2), Elinor Flair (1), and Pearl White (1). There is also an unidentified man's portrait and a movie still from Should a Husband Forgive (1920).


  • 1917-1920

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


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The Fox Film Corporation Publicity Photographs Collection contains 23 black and white photographs and silent movie stills, including photos of Theda Bara, George Walsh, Gladys Brockwell, Peggy Hyland, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Fox Film Corporation was an American company, which produced motion pictures, founded in 1915 by William Fox (born Wilhelm Fried, 1879-1952). He had started his own business in 1900, but sold it to buy his first nickelodeon in 1904. He soon ran a chain of theatres and finally started his own production company. It first set up production in Fort Lee, New Jersey, but moved to Hollywood, California, in 1919. In 1926, the company bought the patents of the Movietone sound system for recording sound on to film. However, Fox lost control over the company after the 1929 stock market crash. In 1935, Fox merged with 20th Century Pictures, which formed 20th Century Fox.

On July 29, 1885, Theodosia Goodman, turned Theda Bara, was born. In 1911, she joined a touring company and soon became interested in the motion pictures. She earned the lead role as the vampire in A Fool There Was (1915). Later that year, she starred in The Kreutzer Sonata (1915) for Fox Studios. Bara made six more films in 1915 and eight movies in 1916. In 1917, she starred in the box-office smash Cleopatra. After seven films in 1919, ending with The Lure of Ambition, Fox dropped her contract. In 1921, Bara married and retired, only returning to make one last movie in 1926 and for brief stints on stage in the 1930s. On April 7, 1955, she died of abdominal cancer in Los Angeles, California.

William Farnum (1876- 1953) made his stage debut at the age of 10 in Richmond, Virginia, in a production of Julius Caesar. Ten years later he made his first New York appearance. From 1915 to 1925 he devoted himself to motion pictures and became one of the highest paid stars, receiving $10,000 per week from William Fox. After he was seriously injured in 1925 while filming A Man Who Fights Alone, Farnum played only minor silent movie roles. He returned to the stage in The Buccaneer and in three years was on Broadway in Macbeth. Farnum's funeral was held five days after his death on June 10, 1953, in Los Angeles. Pallbearers included C. B. DeMille, Frank Lloyd, and Clarence Brown, while actor Pat O'Brian read the eulogy.


Collection consists of a single folder divided into two series: Movie Stills and Staged Scenes and Portraits.

Acquisition Note

Collection was a gift of Daniel Hamilton.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA