SMU Libraries and staff of the Hamon Arts Library mourn the loss of our friend and patron, Jeff Gordon, who recently passed away after a sudden illness. A longtime film historian, enthusiast, and collector, Jeff served on the SMU Libraries Executive Board since 2016. For all who knew Jeff, he had an outgoing and effervescent personality and readily shared a limitless supply of accounts and anecdotes about film and cinema history, its mid-20th century stars, or even Jeff himself. Indeed, his great passions were film and dogs.
Jeff was loyal and dedicated to the Hamon Arts Library and supported us in so many ways. He regularly attended library lectures, exhibition openings, and participated in fundraising events for the Meadows School of the Arts and SMU Libraries’ annual Tables of Content. He collaborated with Hamon staff on a 2013 Hawn Gallery exhibition, Linda Darnell: from Dallas to Hollywood — Selections from the Jeff Gordon Collection, which included a selection of his film posters on the Dallas native actor. In conjunction with the opening, he delivered a well-received lecture on Darnell. Always ready to loan his collection to Hamon, he worked with Georgia Erger, former Hawn Gallery fellow, on an installation of his rare movie posters throughout Hamon and discussed their significance in the Hamon blog in September 2016.
Having grown up and lived in New York City and later Knoxville, Tennessee, Jeff arrived in Dallas in 2016, where he formed a network of friends and acquaintances who equally shared his enthusiasm for film. In addition to his participation in other film circles, Jeff formed his own series of screenings held in his newly-remodeled detached garage. There the participants enjoyed thematic screening events, which Jeff curated from his collection of films, TV shows, and serials. He began each event with an introduction, which included stories, some personal, about the cast, producers, scriptwriters, and always accompanied the evening with an exhibit of photos and posters from his extraordinary collections. Regulars could count on visits from one of his 4 “pups,” who always managed to find a welcoming lap and seemed to enjoy the company as much as Jeff. Jeff, from everyone at Hamon Library and throughout the Meadows School of the Arts and SMU Libraries, we will miss you dearly.
Readers may read Jeff’s obituary posted in the Dallas Morning News.
All donations made in memory of Jeff to the Jones Film & Video Collection will be conveyed to his family.