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Collection #138

George Haimsohn Papers

Date:1952 - 2003
Size:2 feet


This collection is a gift from Dolores H. Fox, George Haimsohn’s sister.

Scope and Content

The collection mostly contains manuscripts and copies of George Haimsohn’s work as a writer of plays, poetry, limericks, short stories, word games and ideas for books and stories. There are also a large amount of the original illustrations and paste-ups for small illustrated books – some original stories and some retelling stories from Shakespeare and other classical themes. There are 3 examples of these books as they were published dated 1983, 1951 and 1952. There are many handmade and bound small illustrated books without dates and no indication if they were ever published. There all also some manuscipts and published samples of his gay male erotica from the 1960’s under the pen name of Alexander Goodman along with a published book of his work as a “physique” photographer going by the name of Plato.There is a small amount of personal correspondence to friends and family, plus a few with publishers and producers.There are programs, photos and publicity material from various productions of “Dames At Sea” for which he was most well-known as co-writer of book and lyrics and production and rehearsal photos (presumed to be taken by Mr. Haimsohn) of a TV production. Also included are scripts from 2 other musicals “Zing” and “Big Broadcast of 1944”.Other miscellaneous items include a bio and copies from online research by the collection’s donor, correspondence by her regarding publishing rights, financial advisor statements, a small vintage illustrated pornography collection, vintage celebrity nudes and prints and negatives from a portrait photoshoot of Warhol “superstar” Candy Darling.

History or Bio

George Haimsohn is most well known as co-writer of the book and lyrics for “Dames At Sea,” an off-Broadway spoof of movie musicals of the Busby Berkley era that opened in 1968 and launched the career of Benadette Peters. He died in 2003 of a massive aneurysm in front of his Greenwich Village home where he had been a resident since 1952. He was born in St. Louis in 1925 and his family soon moved to California where he grew up in various neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area. He served in the Navy during World War II and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley where his first poetry was published in the student literary journal. Before his success with “Dames At Sea” he was a professional photographer known as Plato specializing in male nudes for “physique” publications in the 1950s and 1960s. He also designed mobiles, collages, wrote short stories, advertisements and limericks. He also wrote gay male erotica under the pen name of Alexander Goodman. He wrote and illustrated humorous versions of Shakespeare and other classic stories like “The Portable Hamlet” and “The Bedside Faust.” Some were first published by Coward -McCann in the 1950s and later by Putnam/Pedigree in the 1980s as Madcap Classics.Although Haimsohn wrote other musicals for the stage such as “Zing” produced at the Bucks Count Playhouse in 1971 and “Big Broadcast of 1944,” his major theatrical legacy remains “Dames At Sea,” which he co-wrote with Robin Miller. It has been a staple of professional amateur theaters all over the world and translated into many languages including Korean. There were major revivals in New York at the Lambs Theater in 1985, the Goodman Opera House in 2002 and on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theater in 2015. There was also a television production in 1971 that starred Anne-Margret, Ann Miller, Anne Meara, Harvey Evans, Dick Shawn and Fred Gwyne.

Folder List

Box 1

1. Letters From George Haimsohn
2. Letters to Mom And Dad, Photos
3. Emails to Landis, Last days
4. Misc. Correspondence re. work
5. Short Stories
6. Stories
7. Writing On Fire Island
8. Poetry
9. Poetry
10. Limericks
11. Namerology [word games with names]
12. Various Writing-Stories, Poems, Limericks
13. Various Writing – Play, Stories, Poems
14. Various Writing – Plays, Novel, Poems
15. Gay Stories
16. Porn Books Written as Alexander Goodman
17. Journal [personal/random notes, 1991-1992]
18. Ideas for Children’s Books/Book Synopsis
19. Various Writing, Drawings
20. Original Drawings and Photocopies
21. Carmen Confidential [original sketches]
22. Inside Romeo and Juliet [preliminary sketches]
23. Inside Romeo and Juliet [original sketches used for publication]
24. The Saga of Zondra Zing [original sketches]
25. Modern Fairy Tales – Autobiography of a Camp [original sketches]
26. The Fowl Story of Swan Lake [original sketches and photocopies]
27. Drawing – In the Strange Land of Musical Comedy
28. Cupid and Psyche [Hand made book]
29. Cupid & Psyche Unexpurgated [original sketches and copies]
30. Millionaire, Art Love, Philanthropist… [original sketches]
31. Modern Fairy Tales – The Gay Little Prince [original sketches]
32. Not Quite Taming of the Shrew [original sketches]
33. Silly Shakespeare: The Othello Coloring Book [copies]
34. The Battle Between Poets & Painters [pages 47-109 from “Carnal Matters” as Alexander Goodman]
35. Macbeth [sketches, numbered]
36. Macbeth [sketches, un-numbered]
37. Gay Book, Presenting the Beasley Boys [sketches and text]
38. Camille, Camille Wherever You Are [sketches]
39. Books – The Bedside Faust, Inside Romeo & Juliet, The Portable Hamlet
40. Handmade Book [no title, pages missing]
41. Night & Day – Pictorial Analysis
42. Television, Its Origin… Decline and Fall [handbound book]
43. Women I have Known [hand made book]
44. Hamlets Soliloquy [handbound book]
45. Zing [script & program]
46. Zing [bound script]
47. Big Broadcast of 1944 [script]
48. Dames At Sea [reviews, programs, photos, publicity]
49. Dames At Sea TV Production [rehearsal & production photos]
50. Candy Darling B&W Photos by George Haimsohn
51. Bio & Memoriam by sister, Dolores Fox
52. Dolores Fox research
53. Lists of Borrowed Videos
54. H&R Block [financial advisor statements]
55. Coward McCann, Publishers [letters re: Faust & Hamlet]
56. Correspondence re: Publishing Rights [Dolores Fox]
57. Faxes & Memos from Robin Miller
58. Postcards & Letters from Friends
59. Letter from Randolph Carson Caton
60. Male Nudes [unknown origin]
61. Portraits of two Women [unmarked]
62. Photo Collage Color Prints
63. Vintage Porn Drawings [some original drawings possible by Haimsohn]
64. Porn [purchased celebrity nudes]
65. Dames At Sea, poster, large print TV production photo
66. Large Print, Candy Darling