Keaton and Lloyd festival logo 1999
Buster Keaton Celebration --Keaton and Lloyd
with special guest, Kevin Brownlow
Hundreds of fans attended this year's Keaton Celebration in Iola, KS, September 24 & 25, 1999, setting attendance records.
Guests came from both U.S. coasts and from overseas, and well as from all around the mid-west.

Iola's friendly atmosphere, beautiful weather, talented speakers, careful planning by
the Keaton Committee, and community support assured a successful celebration.
Select the thumbnails to see original digital photographs
All photos © 1999 Carol Yoho

The Facility
front entrance
banner at entrance
Harold Lloyd sculpture by Terry Ensor
Movie marquee by Bill Shaffer
Brownlow speaks to KU class
front lobby displays
luncheon theme
The beautiful Bowlus Fine Arts Center in Iola was built in the 1960's. Facilities include a spacious and comfortable auditorium, classrooms, meeting rooms, foyer, restrooms. Guests are treated royally by the Bowlus staff.

The People
Writer, John Bengtson, actor James Karen and his wife, Alba.
Bill Shaffer, speaker, and Amy Specht, Piqua resident, are Committee members
David McLeod, founder of Britian's Keaton fan club, and Mary Martin, Exec. Dir. of Bowlus
Ted Keaton--Buster's third cousin--shared family photos
Sculptor Terry Ensor, and his wife, Leah.
Kevin Brownlow, recepient of this year's Buster award
Annette D'Agostino Lloyd, founder of H.E.L.L.O., Harold Lloyd's fan club.
Betty, an attendee, once took dancing lessons from silent star Louise Brooks
Important people include the Keaton Committee, program presentors, Bowlus staff, community volunteers, and all participants. 

Visit John Bengtson's (upper left photo) web site on his new book (focused on Los Angeles filming locations for Keaton's short subjects), Silent Echoes.

Pique Tribute
Piqua's Keaton Museum is in the Water building.
plaque near the museum honoring Buster
plaque text and illustration
museum displays
Brownlow with Frank Thompson, biographer of Wm. Wellman
more display, with several original drawings by John Tibbetts
Keaton was born in Piqua, KS, 7 miles west of Iola, in 1895. His parents were traveling with a medicine show and Harry Houdini. He was born in a local boarding house, with two local midwives in attendance. Piqua is proud of its native son and has a small museum honoring Buster in the water resources building near the entrance to town on  Highway 54. All are welcome to stop in.

dismounting the Lloyd sculpture
life mask of Keaton, believed to be made in 1953 at Universal Studio
starry-eyed Keaton fans
Around the festivities...

FRIDAY, September 24, 1998

Frank Scheide, PhD:
"A Brief History of Low Comedy"
Showing of Lloyd's "High and Dizzy"
John Tibbets, PhD:
"The Gospel of the Strenuous Life"
Lunch  (on your own)
Patricia Elliot Tobias:
"Perception and Reality in 'Our Hospitality'"
Bill Shaffer:
Discussion of "The Freshman" and "College"
Showing of "Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius, Parts I and II" --courtesy of Kevin Brownlow
Dinner Break

welcome to Kevin Brownlow, film historian
--film historian, film preservationist,
documentary filmmaker
leading authority on the
history of silent cinema
SATURDAY, September 25, 1998

David Macleod:
"Sad Eyes and Four Eyes: 
Keaton and Lloyd biographical introduction"
Annette D'Agostino Lloyd:
"A Comic Genius Learns Comedy"
Rodney Sauer:
"The Art and Business of Silent Film Music"
Keaton short
Lunch (on your own)
Dan Kamin:
"Thrills, Spills, and the Comedy of Action"
Presentation of the "Buster" Award
--to Kevin Brownlow
James Karen:
"A Tribute to Eleanor Keaton"
Kevin Brownlow:
"A Comparison of Buster and Harold"
Q and A w/ Kevin Brownlow: 
moderated by Robert Butler 

Harold Lloyd sculpture outside the Bowlus courtesy
of the artist, Terry Ensor

Displays, books, souvenirs, autographs, surprises
and new friends

Films: 8:00 p.m.


Buster Keaton: "Convict 13" 
--with piano accompaniment by Rodney Sauer

Harold Lloyd.: "The Kid Brother"
--with live musical accompaniment by the 
   Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra


Harold Lloyd.: "Billy Blazes, Esq"
--with piano accompaniment by Rodney Sauer

 Buster Keaton: "College"
--with live musical accompaniment by the 
   Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Principal funding for this program is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization encouraging the appreciation of history, heritage and values and by the Iola Tourism Committee and private donors.. Sponsored by the Keaton Celebration Committee in cooperation with the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.

Speakers List:

  • Kevin Brownlow
  • Annette D'Agnostino
  • Dan Kamin
  • James Karen
  • Patricia Tobias
  • Frank Scheide
  • John Tibbetts
  • David Macleod
  • Robert Butler

Film Class Offered:

"A Mystic Commotion: Historical and Cultural Contexts of the American Silent Cinema"
The University of Kansas offered a 3 credit hour class (TH&F 302/702) taught by Assistant Professor John Tibbetts in conjunction with the Buster Keaton Celebration. The class met four weekends from September 11 to October 2, 1999.

See 2000 celebration: "Keaton and Laurel & Hardy"
See 1998 celebration:
"Keaton and Pickford"
See 1997 celebration: "Keaton and Chaplin"
See 1996 celebration: "Keaton and Arbuckle"

See Speakers Lists: 1993-95

© 1999 by Carol Yoho
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