"The Unwritten History": Alexander Gumby's African America

Gumby's People > Jimmy Stewart


Scrapbook 149:
"James Stewart, pt. 2,"
p. [113]

Starring in such classic films as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, and Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart was one of the most acclaimed actors of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. He also happened to be one of Gumby's favorite actors, a fact betrayed not only by the two scrapbooks that Gumby devoted to his life (both as an actor and as a bomber pilot for the US Army Air Force during World War II) and the several responses from Stewart to Gumby's fan letters that Gumby faithfully preserved in his collection.

This page from the second of Gumby's volumes on Stewart features a collage of ticket stubs, presumably from the many showings of Stewart films that Gumby attended over his life. Gumby's inclusion of such a page serves as a clear reminder of the personal nature of many of the scrapbooks that Gumby collected. As a white actor whom Gumby memorialized alongside figures like Paul Robeson and Josephine Baker, it also once again emphasizes Gumby's pointed ambivalence about documenting African-American history as a distinct endeavor somehow isolated from the rest of American or world history.


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