Research Catalog

Motley costume designs

Motley costume designs, 1936-1965.
Motley, pseud.
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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Box 2Still imageSupervised use *T-Vim 2012-003 Box 2Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 1Still imageSupervised use *T-Vim 2012-003 Box 1Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre


Additional Authors
  • Montgomery, Elizabeth, 1902-
  • Devine, Sophie, 1901-
  • Harris, Margaret, 1904-
2 boxes (93 drawings) : col.; 51 x 41 cm. or smaller.
  • Costume design drawings.
  • Swatches.
  • Most designs in this collection are for Broadway productions.
  • Several designs are signed: Motley. Some include the United Scenic Artists stamp.
  • Michael Redgrave's costume design for The witch of Edmonton (Warbeck) is signed: EM.
  • Several designs are mounted on board, and many include swatches, or notes with costume details on design recto, or stapled on verso.
Source (note)
  • Mrs. Donald Holden.
  • Ralph and Judy Linn;
  • Erik Rhodes.
Call Number
*T-VIM 2012-003
Motley, pseud. Costume designer
Motley costume designs, 1936-1965.
Original color costume designs on paper, tracing paper, or board, possibly created by Elizabet (Montgomery) Wilmot, one of the three women who designed under the pseudonym Motley. Includes drawings for Miss Liberty (1949); Paint your wagon (1951); The tempest (1945); and Tovarich (1963), as well as designs for Laurence Olivier (Henry II) in Becket (1961); Richard Burton (Philip the Bastard) in King John (1953); and Michael Redgrave (Warbeck) in The witch of Edmonton (1936).
Motley is the corporate name of sisters Margaret Harris (1904-2000) and Sophie Harris (1900-1966), and Elizabeth Montgomery Wilmot (1902-1993), who designed sets and costumes for theatre, opera, ballet and motion pictures from 1932 to 1976 in England and the United States. Their first designs, for London productions by John Gielgud and Michel Saint-Denis, were very successful, and in 1936 Saint-Denis founded The London Theatre Studio (1936-1939), a radical new theatre school which incorporated courses in theatre design taught by the Motleys. In 1940, Margaret Harris and Elizabeth Montgomery went to New York and remained there until the end of World War II, designing for numerous productions on Broadway. In 1946, Margaret Harris returned to London, while Elizabeth stayed, married the writer and journalist Patrick Wilmot (1904-1960), and continued to design for plays, musicals, operas, and ballets in New York until 1966.
Designs for Laurence Olivier (Henry II) in Becket Gift; Mrs. Donald Holden.
Designs for Miss Liberty, Can-can, Paint your wagon, Tovarich, and The young and the beautiful Gift; Ralph and Judy Linn; 1985.
Designs for Hilaire Jussac and Rooster in Can-can Gift; Erik Rhodes.
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Finding Aid
Added Author
Montgomery, Elizabeth, 1902- Costume designer
Devine, Sophie, 1901- Costume designer
Harris, Margaret, 1904- Costume designer
Research Call Number
*T-VIM 2012-003
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