Film-maker James Ivory donates a collection of personal
documents to the University of Oregon

Director James Ivory has donated personal papers spanning more than 50 years to the University of Oregon, where he studied architecture.

The film-maker, best known for his partnership with producer Ismail Merchant on lavish costume dramas, credits the university with his talent for visual images.

He has handed over 26 boxes containing screenplays, production files and costume designs from nearly 40 films, which have included Howard's End and Room with a View.

The collection also includes correspondence with actors and actresses who have starred in his movies as well as photographs.

Ivory, who grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon, studied architecture between 1946-51, with ideas of becoming a film set designer.

Landscape scenes

He believes his art professor Marion Ross and painting teacher Jack Wilkinson played a large part in the success he has achieved today.

He also said that the countryside environment of Oregon had influenced many of the landscape and weather scenes in his films.

Ivory's career began in documentaries with a focus on Indian culture but he moved into adapting classic English novels for which the name Merchant Ivory has become synonymous.

Among their adaptations are Henry James' The Europeans in 1979 and The Bostonians in 1984.

EM Forster's Maurice, A Room with a View and Howard's End have all been given the Merchant Ivory treatment.

Howard's End won three Oscars including a best actress award for Emma Thompson.

The pair have worked closely with screenwriter and novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala during their 40-year collaboration.


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