November 18, 2008
A collaboration with the League of Professional Theatre Women, this exhibition features works by 110 distinguished designers of scenery, costumes, lighting, props, and projections from various performing arts disciplines, including dance, theater, and opera, from the 1890s to the present. Including photographs, sketches, drawings, set models, costumes, performance videos, ground plans, and interviews with designers, augmented by public programs and educational workshops, it focuses on women designers as participants in the major artistic movements of the period, from experimental theater through the development of modern and, later, postmodern, dance. The exhibition also illuminates women's roles in developing new technologies and materials for performance: for example, women took the lead in the new field of lighting design, from turn-of-the-19th-century experiments to the computerization of cues in the 20th century. The exhibition also investigates the connections among women designers and women-run businesses.
This exhibition is made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
A companion volume to this exhibit is available to purchase at The New York Public Library's Library Shop