Guide to the Lisa Chickering and Jeanne Porterfield collection, 1954-2015
HSFA.2015.16
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
HSFA.2015.16
Creators:
Chickering, Lisa
Porterfield, Jeanne
Dates:
1954-2015, undated
Languages:
English
English; Portuguese; French.
Collection is primarily in English. Some printed material is in Portuguese or French.
Physical Description:
7 sound tape reels
67.86 linear feet
5 videocassettes (digital betacam)
5 electronic discs (dvd)
4 cassette tapes
38 film reels
18 sound discs (vinyl)
1 videocassette (u-matic)
Repository:
Human Studies Film Archives
The Lisa Chickering and Jeanne Porterfield collection documents their work as travel filmmakers, photographers, and writers from 1954-2015. Their films are an example of the travel lecture film, a genre which combined silent travelogue films with live narration. Chickering and Porterfield presented their films throughout the United States and Canada in the 1960s and 1970s before turning to freelance still photography and travel writing in the early 1980s. The audiovisual and photography collection begins with their first joint travels in the 1950s and covers a range of their professional activities through the early 2000s, mainly encompassing original travel footage, edited travelogues, and travel still photography. Supporting documentation includes film scripts, lecture recordings, personal and professional manuscripts, financial and professional records, and a substantial amount of newspaper and magazine articles which serve as a record of the press generated by and about Chickering and Porterfield.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The Lisa Chickering and Jeanne Porterfield collection documents their work as travel filmmakers, photographers, and writers from 1954-2015. The audiovisual and photography collection begins with their first joint travels in the 1950s and covers a range of their professional activities through the early 2000s, mainly encompassing original travel footage, edited travelogues, and travel still photography. Supporting documentation includes film scripts, lecture recordings, personal and professional manuscripts, financial and professional records, and a substantial amount of newspaper and magazine articles which serve as a record of the press generated by and about Chickering and Porterfield.
Records pertaining to Chickering and Porterfield’s film career include full lecture scripts for their five major silent travel films:
Austria à la Carte
(1960),
Caribbean Dutch Treat
(1963),
Bravo Portugal!
(1965),
Europe's Mini-Countries
(1968), and
Winter in Mexico
(1973). Chickering and Porterfield delivered these scripts at venues throughout the United States in front of live audiences while the (silent) travelogues were screened behind them, essentially acting as live narrators. Silent access copies are available for each of these films except for
Austria à la Carte
; audio recordings of their live lectures are available for
Austria à la Carte
,
Caribbean Dutch Treat
,
Winter in Mexico
. Reference video is also available for Chickering and Porterfield’s two shorter sound films:
Four Seasons of Austria
(1962) and
Portugal with Pleasure
(1968). Other film material includes several sets of lecture tour records listing dates, locations, topics, and fees, as well as a large amount of advertising material.
Also included in this collection are a large number of published and unpublished manuscripts, including both personal projects and assignment travel writing. Several personal narrative essays and more complete memoir drafts give insight into Chickering and Porterfield’s filmmaking process, industry tips, and travel methods, as well as anecdotes from the field. Assignment travel writing ranges geographically, with a focus on cruise ships.
Other materials in the collection include extensive inventories of still photography, personal and professional correspondence, and a substantial amount of printed material which was retained as a central resource for press generated by and about Chickering and Porterfield.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
This collection is arranged in 9 series: Series 1. Film documentation, 1959-1986, undated; Series 2. Still photography documentation, 1958-2004, undated; Series 3. Writings, 1954-1997, undated; Series 4. Printed material, 1959-2002, undated; Series 5. Other professional materials, 1987-2000, undated; Series 6. Correspondence, 1957-1992, 2000, 2015, undated; Series 7. Films and film-related sound recordings, circa 1960-2015; Series 8. Other audiovisual material, 1957, 1966, 1981, undated; Series 9. Photographs, 1956-2001, undated.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
1922
Lisa Chickering born December 24 in Chicago, Illinois.
1923
Jeanne Porterfield born February 14 in Beloit, Wisconsin.
1954
First joint travels abroad
1958
Viewpoints, Inc. (production company) incorporated
1960
Austria à la Carte
released
circa 1962
Recipients, Silver Plaque of Merit in Tourism from Austrian National Tourist Office
1962
Four Seasons of Austria
released
Recipients, American Film Festival Blue Ribbon (for
Four Seasons of Austria
)
1962
Recipients, Blue Ribbon from the American Film Festival Travel Category (for
Four Seasons of Austria
)
1963
Caribbean Dutch Treat
released
1965
Bravo Portugal!
released
1968
Europe's Mini-Countries
released
1968
Portugal with Pleasure
released
Recipients, American Film Festival Blue Ribbon (for
Portugal with Pleasure
)
1968
Recipients, Blue Ribbon from the American Film Festival Travel Category (for
Portugal with Pleasure
)
1972-1975
Educational filmstrips photographed by Chickering and Porterfield distributed by the Society for Visual Education, Inc.
1973
Winter in Mexico
released
circa 1975
Began working in still photography and travel writing
1982
Recipient (Porterfield), Grand Prize for Black and White Photography, Society of American Travel Writers
1983
Recipients, First and Second Prize, Society of American Travel Writers Freelance Council Photo Contest
1987-1990
President (Chickering), Travel Journalists’ Guild
2008
Recipient (Chickering), Bern Keating Award for Lifetime Service, Travel Journalists’ Guild
2010
Died (Porterfield) January 15 in New York, New York.
Lisa Chickering (1922-) and Jeanne Porterfield (1923-2010) were travel filmmakers, photographers, and writers in New York City whose professional output spanned from the 1960s through the early 2000s. Chickering and Porterfield first met in Chicago, where they were childhood friends and neighbors. Porterfield attended the University of Chicago and eventually earned a master’s in musicology from the American Conservatory of Music, after which she trained under Uta Hagen to pursue stage and television acting; Chickering trained as an opera singer and pianist before turning to work as a stage and cabaret singer, as well as a model at the John Robert Powers Agency. The pair’s filmmaking career began in 1954, when they traveled to Paris for a singing engagement Chickering had booked. When they arrived, they found the engagement had fallen through. Porterfield began to act as Chickering’s agent, and the two cobbled together a three-year international tour, which they documented on an 8mm camera. Upon returning to New York in 1958, they incorporated a production company, Viewpoints, Inc., and returned to Europe to film their first professional project.
Viewpoints, Inc. released five full-length (70-80 minute) silent travelogues through the 1960s and early 1970s, set in Western European and North American tourist destinations:
Austria à la Carte
(1960),
Caribbean Dutch Treat
(1963),
Bravo Portugal!
(1965),
Europe's Mini-Countries
(1968), and
Winter in Mexico
(1973). Chickering and Porterfield acted as directors, producers, cinematographers, and editors on each film. The pair also presented these films on the travel lecture film circuit at venues in the United States and Canada ranging from Kiwanis clubs to major concert halls, narrating their silent footage onstage in front of live audiences.
Viewpoints, Inc. also released two shorter 30-minute public relations sound films sponsored by Volkswagen of America:
Four Seasons of Austria
(1962, which used footage from
Austria à la Carte
) and
Portugal with Pleasure
(1968, which used footage from
Bravo Portugal!
). Both of these films won awards at the American Film Festival. A third public relations film, co-sponsored by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and the Curaçao Tourism Board and titled
Curaçao: The Caribbean Dutch Treat
, was released in 1962 and used footage from
Caribbean Dutch Treat
.
Chickering and Porterfield turned to still photography in earnest in the 1980s and continued working through the early 2000s; their work was published as educational filmstrips as well as in various leading travel and lifestyle publications, including in
The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, Glamor, Gourmet, Harper's Bazaar,
and
Better Homes & Gardens
. The pair also authored a number of travel features to accompany their photos, with a particular emphasis on cruise ships.
Porterfield died in 2010 in New York City, where Lisa still lives.

Administration
Processing Information note
The collection arrived at the National Anthropological Film Collection in two deposits. The materials were largely ungrouped upon their arrival, often down to the item level; they were arranged by the archivist into series corresponding to the various facets of Chickering and Porterfield’s professional lives, with some breakdown by material type. Those materials that were arranged in binders and folders have been retained in original order with original titles.
Processed and encoded by Annie Schweikert, 2017.
Existence and Location of Copies note
Many of the original sound recordings have been digitized for researcher access. Contact the NAFC for more details.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Annie Schweikert
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
This collection was donated to the National Anthropological Film Collection (formerly the Human Studies Film Archives) by Lisa Chickering in 2015.

Filmography
Filmography
1960
Austria à la Carte
(silent, 70-80 min.), distributed by Viewpoints, Inc.
1962
Four Seasons of Austria
(sound, 23 min.), distributed by Viewpoints, Inc.
1963
Caribbean Dutch Treat
(silent, 79 min.), distributed by Viewpoints, Inc.
1963
Curaçao: The Caribbean Dutch Treat
(sound, 14 min.), distributed by Viewpoints, Inc.
1965
Bravo Portugal!
(silent, 69 min.), distributed by Viewpoints, Inc.
1968
Portugal with Pleasure
(sound, 28 min.), distributed by Viewpoints, Inc.
1967
Europe's Mini-Countries
(silent, 78 min.), distributed by Viewpoints, Inc.
1973
Winter in Mexico
(silent, 77 min.), distributed by Viewpoints, Inc.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Lisa Chickering and Jeanne Porterfield Collection, National Anthropological Film Collection, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Use note
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access note
The Lisa Chickering and Jeanne Porterfield collection is open for research. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the National Anthropological Film Collection may not be played.

Repository Contact
Human Studies Film Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland, 20746
Phone: 301-238-1330
hsfa@si.edu