Barker, Margaret, 1908-1992.
Billy Rose Theatre Division
- 19.61 linear ft. (46 boxes)
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
The papers of Margaret Barker consist of personal papers, family papers, diaries, datebooks, correspondence, including letters from family, friends and business associates, legal and financial documents, writings, programs, scripts, photographs, scrapbooks, and ephemera relating to productions in which she appeared, directed orproduced. The personal and family papers provide an in-depth insight into Ms. Barker's life and work. The personal papers contain Ms. Barker's datebooks and diaries,including a journal of her dreams. Financial papers include bank statements for trusts, personal bills, receipts, income ledger sheets, and papers for several theatrical investments. Her personal files span much of her life-from the Bryn Mawr School she attended as a girl in Baltimore, to her pension statements from Actors' Equity Association, and relate to many aspects of her life-homes, notebooks, recipes, sketches, theater memorabilia,and travel, to name a few. Family papers are rich in correspondence, especially from Ms. Barker's parents, but also from other family members. The papers of the Barker and Halsey families date back to the early 1800s and include a letter from the Baron de Stael to T.T. Wilder.
Correspondence consists largely of letters from friends,admirers and business associates in the 1930s. Some of Ms.Barker's more notable correspondents include Alan Baxter, Harold Clurman, Katharine Cornell, Clifford Odets, and Jerome Robbins. The Group Theatre papers offer an insider's perspective on its productions and activities, including several of its summer sessions, from 1931 until 1937, when the Group reorganized and Ms. Barker was no longer a member. The organizations series' papers consist of newsletters, correspondence, fliers, booklets, and advisory board materials for groups with which Ms. Barker was personally or professionally involved. Scripts and production materials are also contained in the files for the Analytical Psychology Club of New York, Inc. and the Cosmopolitan Club for which Ms. Barker directed productions.
Productions comprise the largest part of the papers and contain scripts, correspondence, contracts, programs, production materials, and ephemera largely for shows in which Ms. Barker appeared. Color of Darkness and L'Été, produced by Ms. Barker, and A Moonlit Dome, written by Ms.Barker, are the best-documented productions. Color of Darkness and L'Été include financial and casting materialsas well.
Her writings consist of plays, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and speeches. Scripts received by Ms. Barker range from works by unknown playwrights to authors such asS.N. Behrman, Max Frisch, Arthur Kopit, and Megan Terry.
As with the papers, the production photographs make up the largest part of the Photographs series. Photographs inthe collection include informal, personal and professionalportraits of Ms Barker and of her family. There are informal photographs of the Group Theatre summer sessions.Organization photographs consist mostly of the productionsMs. Barker did for the Analytical Psychology Club of New York, Inc. and for the Cosmopolitan Club.
Two scrapbooks document Ms. Barker's work in the summer of 1941 at the Hilltop Theatre in Maryland and her production of The Color of Darkness in 1963. (The latter,oversized scrapbook contains only eight pages of material.) Oversized materials are an unidentified piece of music and the British publication, Band of Hope Review (1865).
Actress, director, writer and producer, Margaret Taylor Baker was born in Baltimore, Md. October 10, 1908, to the physician Dr. Llewellys Franklin Barker and his wife Lillian. "Beany," as she was nicknamed, attended the Calvert and Bryn Mawr Schools in Baltimore and then Bryn Mawr College for two years. After her Broadway debut in 1928, she pursued an acting career that spanned five and ahalf decades and included founding membership in the GroupTheatre (1931), work with the Southampton Playhouse (1938),Hilltop Theatre (1941), ANTA Experimental Theatre (1947-1949), Williamstown Theatre Festival (ca. 1959-1967), Manhattan Theatre Club (1977), New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre Company (1981) and the Eugene O'Neill Center in New London, Conn (1982) along with many others. She also acted in numerous live television dramas in the early 1950s and later appeared in a number of soap operas. Ms. Barker was also involved as a director and producer throughout her entire theatrical life and in 1938 she founded the Studio Workshop Theatre with the dancer Felicia Sorel and actor and teacher Frank Westbrook. This school lasted until 1941. Her writings include plays, short stories, poetry and non-fiction pieces. A few of herplays were produced, though none achieved any public success.
Barker's drinking, which had been a problem at least as early as 1941, lead to her involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1950s, which, in turn, lead to her three decade long association with the Analytical Psychology Club of New York. She also wrote articles for the Analytical Psychology Club Bulletin and directed several of their holiday programs. Margaret Barker died of lung cancer at the age of 83 in 1992.
Controlled Access Terms
- Barker, Margaret, 1908-1992.
- Barker family.
- Halsey family.
- Johns Hopkins Hospital.
- Actresses -- United States.
- Physicians -- United States.
- Acting -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York.
- Financial records.
- Legal documents.
- Scripts (documents)
Additional Creator Names
- Barker, Lewellys F. (Lewellys Franklin), 1867-1943.
- Barker, Margaret, 1908-1992.
- Baxter, Alan, 1908-1976.
- De Wilde, Brandon, 1942-1972.
- Lemay, Harding.
- Mall, Franklin P. (Franklin Paine), 1862-1917.
- Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963.
- Osler, William, Sir, 1849-1919.
- Purdy, James.
- Welch, William Henry, 1850-1934.
- Green, Paul, 1894-1981.
- Green, Paul, 1894-1981. Johnny Johnson.
- Barker, Margaret, 1908-1992. Moonlit dome.
- Purdy, James. Color of darkness.
- Weingarten, Romain. L'Été.
- Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Analytical Psychology Club of New York.
- Group Theatre (U.S.)
- Studio Workshop Theatre.