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Charlie Chaplin: The Keystone Album: The Invention of the Tramp

Charlie Chaplin: The Keystone Album brings together 794 images-technically photograms, printed directly from film frames-from 29 of Charlie Chaplin’s first 36 short films made with the Keystone Film Company in 1914. The strips trace the evolution of Chaplin’s iconic Tramp character as the actor developed his trademark gestures in his short films, before eventually immortalizing the character in the 1915 feature The Tramp. These images were found in a curious document, dubbed “The Keystone Album,” laid out almost like a comic book, with handwritten captions giving the titles of the films and their reconstituted scenarios. It was confirmed in 2014 that H.D. Waley, a former artistic director of the British Film Institute, compiled the extraordinary album in the 1940s in order to keep a record of the original versions of Chaplin’s first films, which were being restored at the time. This beautiful Japanese-bound volume reproduces The Keystone Album in a facsimile edition that faithfully retains the look and spirit of the original, including all 794 original images and their meticulous handwritten annotations (transcribed at the back of the book) in their original layouts, as well as new texts by Carole Sandrin, Sam Stourdzé and Glenn Mitchell.