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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 1819

Jo Mielziner designs


Set and costume designs, architectural and industrial designs, and other drawings by the prominent American theater designer, Jo Mielziner


  • 1924-1974

Language of Materials

Material is in English

Conditions Governing Access

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


2.5 linear feet (17 drawers and 1 box)

Collection includes primarily set and costume designs and sketches, as well as technical drawings and painter's elevations for Broadway productions from 1924 to 1974. Also included are a few architectural and industrial designs for theater auditoriums, exhibition pavilions and a chapel. Collection also includes an illustration, poster designs and religious drawings, several notes and letters.

Biographical / Historical

Jo (Joseph) Mielziner, (1901-1974) was one of the leading American theater designers of his generation, and one of the most prolific. Born in Paris, he spent most of his life in New York working on Broadway, in opera and ballet; in later years, he worked on a number of architectual projects, designing theater buildings, exhibition pavilions and chapels. He studied painting at the Art Students League and Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, and later studied theater design at the National Academy of design. One of the representatives of the New Stagecraft, the movement that placed emphasis on imaginative and structured scenery in the interpretation of plays for stage, Mielziner became one of the most influential theater designers of the 20th century. He worked in every form of drama, as well as musical theater and ballet, creating sets, costumes and light plots for nearly 300 productions, many of which became American classics. For his work he was given seven Tony Awards, and nominated for five more. He also received numerous other awards.


Arranged into three series:

I. Set and costume designs II. Architectural and industrial designs III. Drawings, illustrations, posters

Physical Location

pfd, ppf

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession date. Purchased, 1997 April 19. 1998, 2003MT-240. Source unknown. 2005MT-68. Purchased with Kilgour and Bader funds, 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Irina Klyagin, 2018



Mielziner, Jo, 1901-1976. Jo Mielziner designs, 1924-1974 (MS Thr 1819): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
June 26, 2018
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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