Arent, Arthur (1904-1972)
Scope:
The Arthur Arent collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, financial and legal material, photographs, film, memorabilia, and other items.

The manuscripts represent the entire span of Arent’s varied career. Arent’s earliest works, his plays for the Federal Theatre Project’s Living Newspaper Unit, are represented by the scripts for Power: A Living Newspaper (first produced at the Ritz Theatre in New York City, Feb. 23, 1937; ran to July 10, 1937, and was revived twice in 1938) and One-Third of a Nation (first produced at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City, Jan. 17, 1938, ran to Oct. 22, 1938). Also present in the collection is Arent’s script for his documentary play for the U.S. Department of Agriculture titled It’s Up to You (1943), produced by Elia Kazan, with a national tour sponsored by the Agriculture Department. The collection also includes other scripts written by Arent for the Works Progress Administration.

Arent’s subsequent radio career is represented by numerous scripts for DuPont Presents the Cavalcade of America (1944-1949), The Theatre Guild on the Air (1950s), and The Eternal Light (1950s). His television work is present in numerous scripts for The United States Steel Hour (1953-1955), as well as various pieces for the advertising agency Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne.

Arent’s novels are also present in the collection. Included are his manuscripts for Gravedigger’s Funeral (Grossman, 1967) and The Laying-On of Hands (Little, Brown, 1969). Also included is an unpublished novel, The Ides of Friday .

The collection also includes a workbook and numerous pages of notes by Arent, mostly regarding his work on various radio and television scripts.

Other manuscripts in the collection include copies of scripts for the films Gates of Brass by Kate Corbaley and Jack Cunningham (1919) and Treasure of the Sierra Madre by John Houston (1948), some manuscripts by Maxwell Arent, and miscellaneous scripts, fragments, and songs by Arthur Arent.

The collection includes numerous items of correspondence to and from Arent, including several sympathy cards sent to Arent’s widow, Blanche Arent.

Financial and legal material in the collection consists of insurance documents, medical bills, mutual fund information, court documents, tenancy documents, checkbooks, and other items, all dating from the 1950s to the late 1960s.

Printed material in the collection includes numerous newspaper and magazine clippings, newsletters, programs, catalogs from art exhibitions, travel brochures, and other items; several items have to do with the Federal Theatre Project. Magazines in the collection include Consumer Reports, Fortune (1966), The Journal of Higher Education, Modern Maturity, New Theatre, Players Bulletin, Realities, Saturday Evening Post (1964), Stage, Theatre Arts Monthly (1938), and others.

Photographs in the collection include several images from performances of Arent’s plays, including Triple-A Plowed Under, One-Third of a Nation, and It’s Up to You, as well as additional publicity photographs and printed items regarding the Federal Theatre Project.

Other photographs in the collection are primarily about Arent’s personal life, including several images and photo albums regarding his home and family.

Film reels in the collection include nine reels of films taken at various locations, including California, Florida, Mexico, Bermuda, Cuba, and Nova Scotia. The reels date from 1946 to 1953.

The memorabilia and other items in the collection include datebooks (1964 and 1965), a scrapbook (labeled “To My Wife”), menus, ticket stubs, miscellaneous artwork, research regarding the Secret Service, biographical material about Arent, and various realia.
Notable Figures
1. Arent, Arthur
Associated Subjects
1. Mystery and Suspense Fiction Subject Guide
2. Literary Collections Subject Guide
3. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
4. Radio Subject Guide
5. Television Subject Guide
6. Cuisine, Nutrition, and Agriculture Subject Guide
7. Mass Communications Subject Guide
8. Motion picture authorship
9. Screenwriters – United States
10. Television authorship – United States
11. Television writers – United States
12. American drama -- 20th century
13. Dramatists – United States