Guide to the Chester Kessler Papers, 1951-1952

Processed by UCSC OAC Unit.
The University Library
Special Collections and Archives
University Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California, 95064
Email: specoll@library.ucsc.edu
URL: http://library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/
© 2003
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Note

Arts and Humanities--Art--Photography Arts and Humanities--Film, Television, and Broadcasting--Film Geographical (By Place)--California--Bay Area

Guide to the Chester Kessler Papers, 1951-1952

Collection number: MS 167

The University Library

Special Collections and Archives

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California

Contact Information:

  • Special Collections and Archives
  • University Library
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Santa Cruz, California, 95064
  • Email: specoll@library.ucsc.edu
  • URL: http://library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/
Processed by:
UCSC OAC Unit
Date Completed:
June 2003
Encoded by:
UCSC OAC Unit
© 2003 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Chester Kessler Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1951-1952
Collection number: MS 167
Creator: Kessler, Chester
Extent: 1 document box, 2 flats
Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: This collection contains a storyboard, worksheets, frame drawings, a film and photographs for an animated film The Plague Summer adapted from Kenneth Patchen's novel The Journal of Albion Moonlight, as well as photographs of Kenneth and Miriam Patchen by Chester Kessler.
Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Chester Kessler Papers. MS 167. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Emory Johnson, July 1983.

Biography

A photographer and film maker, Chester Monroe Kessler, was born in New Melle, Missouri on May 6, 1919. He moved to Southern California, first pursuing studies in photography at the Art Center School and later in film making and animation at the University of Southern California. In San Francisco he continued developing his photographic technique under Minor White at the California School of Fine Art. During his life he completed four films and captured portraits of celebrated artists, such as Kenneth Patchen, Jonathan William, Bob Kaufman, David Stacton, and Kenneth Anger.

Completed films:

  • The Plague Summer. 1951; an animated film based on Kenneth Patchen's novel 'The Journal of Albion Moonlight'.
  • Columbarium. 1973; a sequence of images filmed in one of the San Francisco architectural landmarks utilizing Warner Jepson's electronic music as a soundtrack .
  • Rondo. 1976; a portrayal of the Huntington Square cut to the music of Lou Harrison's Suite for violin, piano and small orchestra.
  • Go. 1976; footage of dancing hippies taken in two rock concert held in five year interval at the Speedway Meadows in 1969 and Marx Meadows in 1974.
On his 60th birthday, May 16th 1979, Chester Kessler passed away.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection contains a storyboard, various cue chart guides and worksheets, over 190 frame drawings, a film, and still photographs for The Plague Summer, an animated film adapted from Kenneth Patchen's novel The Journal of Albion Moonlight, that tells the story of a band of characters journeying across landscape assaulted by horrors of war. Archive also includes photographic portraits of Kenneth and Miriam Patchen taken by Chester Kessler in 1952.

Arrangement

The Plague Summer material has been organized into five series: Biographical, Scripts, Frame Drawings, Photographs and Film.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Kessler, Chester--Archives
Animated films
Photographers

Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

Patchen, Kenneth, 1911-1972. Kenneth Patchen archive

Separated Material

The Plague Summer; a film by Chester Kessler, 1951 - Special Collections, Fi731, DVD 2899

Collection Contents

 

Biographical 1983 n.d.

Physical Description: 1 folder

Scope and Content Note

Contains biographical information on Kessler composed by Robert Johnson in July 1983, and Kessler's program notes to his four films.

Arrangement

No arrangement.
Box-folder 1:1

Robert Johnson's biographical information on Kessler and Kessler's program notes to four films July 1983, n.d.

 

Scripts [1951]

Physical Description: 2 folders

Scope and Content Note

Contains written schema for the animated film The Plague Summer. The Cue Sheets for Photographing indicate drawing juxtaposed with number of frames to shoot and cut, and times track entries.

Arrangement

Storyboard arranged in page number order.
Box-folder 1:2-3

The Plague Summer [1951]

Box-folder 1:2

Four sets of cue chart guides (typescript p.1-15), (annotated music lines p.1-16), (annotated sound lines p.1-16),(annotated, p.1-14)

Box-folder 1:2

Final cue sheet for photographing (holograph p.1-7), (annotated typescript p.1-9)

Box-folder 1:2

Sketches and miscellany worksheets

Box-folder 1:3

Storyboard with narration, sound effects, and music frame notes (49 p.)

 

Frame Drawings [1951]

Physical Description: 2 boxes

Scope and Content Note

Contains frame drawings, also called 'tableaux' by Kessler, for the animated film The Plague Summer. The drawings are painted with two tones, gray and black against a white paper. The sheet corners are annotated.

Arrangement

Tableaux arranged by frame number.
Box 2-3

The Plague Summer [1951]

Box-folder 2

Tableaux A-I, 1-89, (No frames 17,19, 42)

Box-folder 3

Tableaux 90-190, (No frames 109, or 141)

 

Photographs [1951]-1952

Physical Description: 1 folder of 15 items

Scope and Content Note

Contains six photographs and nine transparencies; portraits and still shots from The Plague Summer.

Arrangement

Photographs of the frame tableaux are arranged by a frame number. To differentiate between separate frame shots, a narration line from a storyboard was added for clarity.
Box-folder 1:4

Portraits by Kessler 1952

Box-folder 1:4

Kenneth Patchen, 8x10, black/white head shot 1952

Box-folder 1:4

Miriam Patchen, 8x10, black/white head shot 1952

Box-folder 1:4

Portrait of Kessler, 5x7, black/white head shot n.d.

Box-folder 1:4

The Plague Summer [1951]

Box-folder 1:4

Still Shots:

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 18 / Story board 14 [Narration: The evening slowly turns to black stone and the hammer of God chips at the sky, making stars.]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 61 / Story board 49 [Narration: Now the Mother and babe can ride.]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 179 [Albion Moonlight running]

Box-folder 1:4

Negative transparencies:

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 154 / Storyboard 115 [Narration: June 24th. I am alone now. Something is standing in back of me as I write this.]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 155 / Storyboard 116 [Narration: The Door is locked. The windows are barred. I have a sense that it will try to kill me.]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 156 / Story board 117 [Narration: My only weapon is my pen, which I grip in my fist , ready to strike.]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 157 [Albion Moonlight, close up]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 158 [Albion Moonlight writing the first page]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 159 [Albion Moonlight writing, 3 pages]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 160 [Albion Moonlight writing, multiple written pages]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 161/ Storyboard 121 [Narration: The only escape from war is to become a soldier, to lose all touch with your own identity, to become part of one huge, quivering mass of fear and horror.]

Box-folder 1:4

Frame tableau 162/ Storyboard 122 [Narration: Full speed ahead to the slaughter house!]

 

Film 1951

Physical Description: 1 item

Scope and Content Note

DVD copy of 16mm film The Plague Summer, 1951 - cataloged separately - DVD 2899 available or viewing.