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Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance

This major exhibition draws historic materials from the Library’s collections plus a wide range of costumes, set models, renderings and other items borrowed from designers across the U.S. It is curated by noted costume designer Carrie Robbins and theatre historian Barbara Cohen-Stratyner.

A collaboration with the League of Professional Theatre Women, this exhibition features works by 110 distinguished designers of scenery, costumes, lighting, props, and projections from various performing arts disciplines, including dance, theater, and opera, from the 1890s to the present. Including photographs, sketches, drawings, set models, costumes, performance videos, ground plans, and interviews with designers, augmented by public programs and educational workshops, it focuses on women designers as participants in the major artistic movements of the period, from experimental theater through the development of modern and, later, postmodern, dance. The exhibition also illuminates women’s roles in developing new technologies and materials for performance: for example, women took the lead in the new field of lighting design, from turn-of-the-19th-century experiments to the computerization of cues in the 20th century. The exhibition also investigates the connections among women designers and women-run businesses. This exhibition is made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Location : New York Public Library

Dates : From Monday, November 17, 2008 to Saturday, May 2, 2009

Exhibition Hours : Tues, Wed & Fri: 11 to 6; Mon, Thurs: 12 to 8; Sat: 10 to 6

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