Research Catalog

Thomas Skelton papers

Title
Thomas Skelton papers, circa 1953-1994.
Author
Skelton, Thomas R.
Supplementary Content
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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Box 1Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 1Offsite
Box 2Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 2Offsite
Box 3Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 3Offsite
Box 4Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 4Offsite
Box 5Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 5Offsite
Box 6Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 6Offsite
Box 7Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 7Offsite
Box 8Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 8Offsite
Box 9Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 9Offsite
Box 10Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 10Offsite
Box 11Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 11Offsite
Box 12Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 12Offsite
Box 13Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 13Offsite
Box 14Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 14Offsite
Box 15Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 15Offsite
Box 16Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 16Offsite
Box 17Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 17Offsite
Box 18Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 18Offsite
Box 19Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 19Offsite
Box 20Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 115 Box 20Offsite

Details

Additional Authors
Description
  • 28 (735 legal size folders)
  • 26 (flat draftings)
  • 14
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Clippings.
  • Ground plans.
  • Interviews.
  • Lecture notes.
  • Posters.
  • Programs.
Access (note)
  • The 26 oversize boxes and 14 flat files are offsite. Those materials are available only through advance appointment. To make an appointment contact dance@nypl.org.
Biography (note)
  • One of America's most distinguished lighting designers, Thomas Skelton (1928-1994), enjoyed a long career in which he created the lighting for many important Broadway productions, as well as landmark dance works.
Language (note)
  • The Travel literature and language books series contains items in Chinese, French, German, Maylay, and Tagalog; Box 28 is entirely books and recordings in Spanish.
Indexes/Finding Aids (note)
  • Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Call Number
(S) *MGZMD 115
OCLC
  • 129651374
  • 129651374
Author
Skelton, Thomas R.
Title
Thomas Skelton papers, circa 1953-1994.
Restricted Access
The 26 oversize boxes and 14 flat files are offsite. Those materials are available only through advance appointment. To make an appointment contact dance@nypl.org.
Summary
The Thomas Skelton papers represent his professional career as lighting designer from the early 1950s to his death in 1994. The bulk of the collection consists of light plots, cue sheets, ground plans, draftings and other papers related to his career in dance, theater, and opera. The collection also includes some teaching papers, correspondence, interviews, newspaper clippings, and programs. Other miscellaneous material includes travel and foreign language literature accumulated by Skelton in the course of his various professional trips. The collection also includes some scenic designs and costume information retained by Skelton from individual productions. Although Skelton did occasional scenic design, most of this additional material is the work of other crafts people. Included among the papers are also lighting designs executed by others. When identified, these are listed in subseries for 'Other Designers' in each category. The production files should be consulted for full credits for a project. The materials were received with an inventory in database format. The collection has been arranged and described with separate series for material relating to theater (including opera and variety) and dance. Organization of production files has been maintained generally the way files were originally kept. Oversized light plots and designs were separated from the production files and transferred to oversized boxes. Original identification numbers of the draftings have been maintained. Where letters formerly were used to identify boxes of rolled draftings, they now identify the drawers in which the material is currently stored. In some cases, draftings listed in the database were not found with the collection.
Biography
One of America's most distinguished lighting designers, Thomas Skelton (1928-1994), enjoyed a long career in which he created the lighting for many important Broadway productions, as well as landmark dance works. Born Thomas Reginald Skelton, Jr. in Maine, he developed an interest in modern dance while a student in the Theater Department at Middlebury College, Vermont. Upon graduating, he moved to New York City where he continued to pursue his interest in theater and modern dance. Skelton briefly studied dance technique with Martha Graham and José Limón, and composition with Doris Humphrey. He earned a living through odd jobs, including one in management for City Center Opera. His first professional experience in lighting came as an apprentice for Jean Rosenthal at the American Dance Festival. Skelton soon was working as a stage manager and lighting designer for Columbia Artists Management which represented various dance companies. Robert Joffrey invited Skelton to work as stage manager and lighting designer for his newly-formed company. In addition to his work with the Joffrey Ballet, Skelton had successful professional associations with Martha Graham, José Limón, New York City Ballet, and Paul Taylor. Dance pieces for which he designed the lighting include: the original productions of Paul Taylor's Aureole (1962), Robert Joffrey's Astarte (1967), and Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering (1969), as well as revivals of Kurt Jooss' The Green Table, José Limón's The Moor's Pavane, and Leonide Massine's Parade. Among his most notable Broadway productions were the revivals of Brigadoon (1980), Death of a Salesman (1975 and 1984 productions), Guys and Dolls (1976), The King and I (1977), and Oklahoma! (1979). Skelton received Tony Award nominations for the original production of Indians (1967) and the revival of All God's Chillun Got Wings (1975). He also designed lighting for numerous productions at the Circle in the Square, Yale Repertory Theatre, and the American Shakespeare Festival. Skelton served on the Board of DANCE/USA and was Associate Director for the Akron-based Ohio Ballet. He also taught at the New York Studio and Forum of Stage Design and at Yale University.
Language
The Travel literature and language books series contains items in Chinese, French, German, Maylay, and Tagalog; Box 28 is entirely books and recordings in Spanish.
Indexes
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Connect to:
Occupation
Stage lighting designers.
Added Author
Graham, Martha.
Joffrey, Robert.
Limón, José.
Robbins, Jerome.
Taylor, Paul, 1930-2018.
Joffrey Ballet.
Ohio Ballet.
New York City Ballet.
Research Call Number
(S) *MGZMD 115
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