A Monta Bell archive of photographs and letters
Comprising a quantity of typed and autograph letters signed to Bell's ex-wife; over 90 8 x 10 in. photographs, mostly stills from his films, including many images of Norma Shearer and John Gilbert, and two photographs of Greta Garbo on the set of Torrent (1926); a number of personal photographs, including some 11 x 14 in. portraits; and a scrapbook with photographs, letters, and news clippings from his childhood and early journalism career in Washington, D.C. through his time in the theater in New York, and his career in Hollywood, with items dating from 1909 to 1931.
Bell began his career as an actor in the early 1920s, and signed with the Charlie Chaplin Film Company as a press representative in 1921 (that contract is included in the scrapbook). He later went to work as a director under Harry Rapf at MGM, with his best known film being Torrent, Greta Garbo's first film in America. A captivating look at early Hollywood and the career of a film pioneer.