The Harem, 1924In the recent weeks, staff of the Special Formats Processing unit have been hard at work arranging, re-housing, and cataloging a number of collections, consisting of original costume and scene designs, and caricatures from the Library for the Performing Arts Billy Rose Theater Division. You may have seen samples from these stunning, vibrant original works in past exhibitions at the Lincoln Center, but—not surprisingly—there is much more to be seen.
As a whole, the collections in their own, unique way draw a picture of the history of theatrical costume and set design for theater, dance and opera in New York City during the last decades of the 19th and through the 20th century.
Pierre Bertin as Paul in "Aladin" (n.d.)
Whether pencil sketches or full-color designs, each collection is also a glimpse into the creative process of the artists who created them, as well as of the entire production to which they contributed. And although, for all intents and purposes, these original designs were created primarily as guides, or stepping stones to the creation of a three-dimensional manifestation of the designer’s intention, one can’t help but be amazed at their value as works of art in their own accord.
The first installment of this project includes the following 17 collections:
*T-VIM 2010-002 Leon Bakst Designs
*T-VIM 2010-024 John Boyt Costume Designs
*T-VIM 2010-025 Advertising and Publicity Originals
*T-VIM 2010-026 Aline Bernstein Designs
*T-VIM 2010-027 David Ffolkes Designs
*T-VIM 2010-032 Percy Macquoid Costume Designs for The Merchant of Venice
*T-VIM 2010-033 Gordon Micunis Designs
*T-VIM 2010-034 Kay Nelson Costume Designs for A Lion Is in the Streets
*T-VIM 2010-035 Sothern and Marlowe Collection
*T-VIM 2010-036 Freddy Wittop Costume Designs
*T-VIM 2010-037 Patricia Smart Portraits
*T-VIM 2010-038 Theatre Program Cover Designs
*T-VIM 2010-041 Percy Anderson Designs
*T-VIM 2010-042 T. M. Cleland Costume Designs for Scaramouche
*T-VIM 2010-046 John P. Campbell Designs for Dark Rosaleen
*T-VIM 2010-049 Rose Bogdanoff Costume Designs for Lysistrata
*T-VIM 2010-052 Kate Friedheim Costume Designs
This is a work in progress, so stay tuned for the next collections available!
All collections can be accessed at the Library for the Performing Arts.