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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 1810

Harvard Theatre Collection original drawings

Contains portrait, artist, scene, and theatre drawings and sketches related to theatrical and dance productions, collected by the Harvard Theatre Collection.

Dates

  • circa 1668-1975, undated

Language of Materials

English, French

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Extent

4 linear feet (three flat boxes and 214 oversize folders)

Contains portrait drawings, sketches, and a few paintings. Series I includes portraits of figures from the history of the performing arts, including actors, dancers, comedians, playwrights, and similar figures. Some of the portraits are posed and seated, while others are in costume and potentially were created for promoting or commemorating productions. Series II contains drawings and sketches, as well as costume portraits, relating to theatrical productions but not necessarily portraying single figures or groups from the performing arts. Some include Christmas cards sent to acts, original drawings, caricatures, and parodies relating to productions or types of performances, as well as some unidentified portrayals of abstracted dance figures. Series III contains original sketches and drawings of scenes and casts from theatrical productions, mainly from the nineteenth century, as well as a single book design. Series IV includes drawings of theatres in Boston, London, New York, and Norwich, mainly from the eighteenth and nineteen centuries. Most of these drawings include depictions of theatres’ exteriors and contexts within city settings, while one interior drawing is included.

Biographical / Historical

The Harvard Theatre Collection was founded in 1901 through the efforts of Professor George Pierce Baker, and collects documentary materials pertaining to the history of the performing arts, including theatre, dance and ballent, and opera and musical theatre, among other areas. Original drawings relating to the performing arts have been collected throughout the Harvard Theatre Collection’s history, and include a range of types and subject matters, including portrait drawings of actors, dancers, playwrights, and other figured from the history of the arts; artist drawings of individuals and groups relating to theatre; drawings of scenes and casts of productions; and drawings of theatres, mainly in London and New York, New York.

Arrangement

Collection is arranged into the following four series: portrait drawings, artist drawings, scene drawings, and theatre drawings.

Physical Location

b, pfd (P1.C1.05.10 - P1.C1.05.14 [Folders 1-187]), ppf (P1.01.05.15 - P1.01.05.18 [Folders 188-214])

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Various accessions at various dates, some unknown. Accession information is noted in the series and file description as available. Many of the items in Series IV are attributed to the E.J. Wendell Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2018.
Link to catalog
Title
Harvard Theatre Collection Original Drawings, circa 1668-1975, undated (MS Thr 1810): Guide.
Status
completed
Author
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Date
2018 June 19
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
EAD ID
hou02961

Repository Details

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.

Contact:
Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440