Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
1 collection (1 linear foot (59 drawings in 58 folders))
With the exception of several drawings, all costume designs are for female dancers. Collection also includes two costume designs for the famous cabaret singer Mistinguett.
More often than not, designers worked for costume makers rather than for music-halls themselves; many designs bear stamps of famous Parisian costumiers for theater, operetta, cabarets and music-halls, Jean Saunal, Maison Pasquad, and Max Weldy; a few have fabric swatches attached. Artists include Jenny Carré, L. Barry Dany, Henri R. Fost, Michel Gyarmathy, Gaston Noury, Gontran René Ranson, Roberto Rosello, Freddy Wittop, José de Zamora and Zig (Louis Gaudin).
Biographical / Historical
Dany L. Barry (191?-1937), who signed his work as Dany, was a French artist and costume designer, who worked at Folies-Bergère from 1930 to 1934.
Henri Raymond Fost (1905-1970) was a French stage and costume designer for Casino de Paris and other music-halls.
Michel Gyarmathy (1908-1996) was a Hungarian-born French costume designer and artistic director of Folies-Bergère.
Gaston Noury (1866-?) was a French poster and postcard designer, and costume designer for cabarets and music-halls.
Gontran René Ranson (1891-1977) was a French costume designer who worked for Folies-Bergère from 1924 to 1932; he also designed costumes for opera and movie studios.
Roberto Rosello is a stage and costume designer for theater, opera, cabaret, ice shows, and circus.
Freddy Wittop (1911-2001) was a Dutch-born stage designer for Folies-Bergère and other music-halls, who later moved to the United States and became a prominent costume designer on Broadway.
José de Zamora (1889-1971) was a Spanish artist, fashion and costume designer for Folies-Bergère, Casino de Paris, Moulin Rouge and other music-halls.
Alexandre Zinoviev (1889-1977) was a Russian artist and illustrator who worked for various French and American fashion magazines, and designed costumes and decor for Casino de Paris, Les Ambassadeurs, and Folies-Bergère.
Zig (Louis Gaudin) (190?-1936), was a French artist, illustrator and poster designer, who was most famous for designing for Mistinguett, Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier.
Each year music-halls directors set up an annual theme, after which various tableaux were created to serve as vehicles to famous singers and fill in the gaps between musical numbers. The tableaux included comic, dramatic, historical and other subjects; costumes reflected the theme. Each costume represented a character or an object, an animal or a plant, a building, sport, food, or other subjects suggested by the annual theme.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Where known, accession number is indicated for each design.
- Costume designs for French music-halls, 1910-1962: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Description rules
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA