Raintree County:

A Celebration of the Life and Work of Ross Lockridge, Jr.

Jan. 21 - May 19, 2014

          Raintree County: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Ross Lockridge, Jr. marks the centennial of the writer's birth on April 25, 1914 in the old Bloomington, Ind. hospital. Son of two Indiana University graduates, historian Ross Lockridge, Senior, popularly knowing as "Mr. Indiana" for his statewide "Historic Site Recitals," and IU psychology instructor Elsie Shockley Lockridge, Ross Junior decided at the age of seven to be a writer. "The Demon with the Fiery Tongue," bound by his mother in leather, was "the first product of my invention." Writing with demonic energy over the years, he produced by the age of thirty-three the majority of items included in this exhibition nearly 300 of which are drawn from the 75,000 that The Estate of Ross Lockridge, Jr. has donated to the Lilly Library. --Larry Lockridge, From Lilly Library brochure.

A Guide to the exhibition lists twenty display cases with the following headings: Important Raintree County background texts; Influential Raintree County manuscripts and texts; Ross Lockridge, Jr.'s (RLJ's) original art work for Raintree County; Texts owned and annotated by RLJ of special importance in the creation of Raintree County; Juvenilia and early writings of RLJ; RLJ graduate writings and academic career; Unpublished writings of RLJ; The World responds to Raintree County; A Junior Year Abroad: R. Frank Lockridge, Parisien, 1933-1934; Houghton Mifflin; Raintree County The Motion Picture; RLJ's writings during his illness; Final days; The shockleys; The Lockridges; The Bakers; Mary Jane Ward; and in the Entry foyer, An early glimmer of Raintree County.

Here follows 3 pages of photos of the exhibits, with special thanks to the Lilly Library.


  Raintree County

     . . . which had no boundaries in time and
space, where lurked musical and strange
names and mythical and lost peoples, and
which was itself only a name musical and

          The original painting by John V. Morris for the book dust jacket of Raintree County. Based on a sketch by Ross Lockridge, Jr. (RLJ) of his wife, Vernice Baker Lockridge (VBL), the jacket gave offence to many because of the naked female geoglyph prominent in the contours of the map.

The remnant of the original Raintree County manuscript.

The remnant of the original Raintree County manuscript.

          RLJ preserved only a small portion of the very messy original manuscript. The surviving portion was donated by Vernice Baker Lockridge and her second husband Russell Noyes in the 1970s. It shows how extensively RLJ revised, however rapidly he first-drafted the novel. Many pages contain portions of the discarded novel American Lives. [Case 1, Item 10]

To: Raintree County Background Texts & RLJ's Original Art Work for the Novel, page 2

To: R. Frank Lockridge, Parisien & The Bakers, page 3

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