Wyn Ritchie Evans papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Wyn Ritchie Evans (1900-2003) was an actress, writer, and playwright. She was born in Brighton, England to British actors Winifred Monroe and Billie Ritchie. The family moved to the United States in the early 1900s. The kind of role her father played was later taken over and made famous by Charlie Chaplin. Wyn Ritchie Evans played in some crowd scenes in Chaplin's movies and was a wardrobe mistress at Charlie Chaplin Studios. She acted in silent movies as well as on stage, and took on roles that included Nora in Henrik Ibsen's The Doll House.
Wyn Ritchie Evans was involved with a circle of artists and writers and was closely connected to artist Herman Sachs (1883-1940), founder of the Munich Expressionist School ("Münchner Expressionistische Werkstätten"). The correspondence and photographs document their relationship. Before he died in 1943, he left her several drawings, now arranged within the Ray Evans Papers.
In 1947 she married songwriter and lyricist Ray Evans. In the 1950s she took writing classes at Maren Elwood College. She submitted numerous stories for publication and collaborated on some of them with Hanson Hathaway. Most of her writings remain unpublished. Wyn Ritchie Evans lived with Ray Evans in Los Angeles until her death in 2003.
The Wyn Ritchie Evans papers were part of a collection acquired by the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 from the Ray & Wyn Ritchie Evans Foundation. The papers, arranged in five series, shed some light on her professional and personal life.
Growing up in a family of actors, Wyn Ritchie Evans was always close to circles of artists, writers, and actors. Her correspondence (first series) include one letter by Thomas Mann written to Matthias Brünker. Most letters in this series are personal in nature; many are from Dorothy Sanderson, Hanson H Hathaway, and Herman Sachs. Wyn was artistically inspiring to Hanson H Hathaway, Herman Sachs, Robert Winter, and other correspondents. Her relationship to Herman Sachs, with whom she had lived before she met Ray Evans, is reflected in letters to him and to Joseph Sadony. Wyn Ritchie Evans's correspondence is housed in boxes 1 and 2. Additional correspondence can be found with her writings, and two photocopied cables addressed to Wyn from Charlie Chaplin are in the scrapbook pages of the fourth series (box 8, folder 151).
Wyn Ritchie Evans's endeavor to be a professional writer and playwright seemed to have been strongest in the 1950s, as documented in the second series, her writings. They consist mostly of short stories in typescript, of which a few were written in collaboration with Hanson H Hathaway. Her correspondence with publishers and editors pertaining to the stories are interfiled. The series furthermore comprises fragments, notes, drafts (typescript and manuscript), text-excerpts of other writers, and assignments of writing classes she had attended. Her writings are housed in boxes 3-5.
The third series, photographs, offer an insight into Wyn's work as an actor. They include photographs of her in different costumes. Also included are pictures of her as a child, her mother, Herman Sachs, and his work. Photographs are housed in boxes 6 and 7; larger photographs can be found in boxes 8-10. Some of the photographs used to be part of various scrapbooks and albums. It might be helpful to consult the photocopies of these albums arranged at the end of box 6.
The scrapbooks (fourth series) consist of single pages taken from dismantled albums. Photocopies of the original scrapbooks are arranged at the end of box 6. Some of the photographs that were originally in scrapbooks are now arranged within the third series.
The fifth series, personal papers and memorabilia, contain Wyn Ritchie Evans's birth certificate and her naturalization certifcate. They include pages of her personal diary, three travel diaries, clippings, four typed lectures held at Herman Sachs's Saturday classes, and several booklets on artists such as Alexander Archipenko, Rudi Gernreich, and Marcel Marceau.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Juliette L. Appold
- Finding Aid Date
- Processing of the collection and preparation of the register were made possible through a grant from the Ray and Wyn Ritchie Evans Foundation.
- Use Restrictions
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