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In the next few posts, we will be paying a bit more attention to what happens on the theatrical stage. Here are what I believe worthwhile books to read if you are interested in the design aspect of the Theater.

stage2The first book Ballet Art From the Renaissance to the Present by Mary Clarke and Clement Crisp gives a good visual overview of the role ballet played in fine arts. It is an older text published 1978 but well illustrated.

stage1The second book Artists and the Avant-Garde Theater in Paris 1887-1900 is a more recent (1998) exhibition publication by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 179 pages with lots of color illustrations. It discusses the Theatre Libre and key figures like Andre Antoine, Paul Fort and the Theatre d’Art, Aurelien Lugne-Poe and the Theatre de l”Oevre, and the many artists who designed posters, programs, stage decors etc., a comprehensive overview.

The third one Les Decorateurs de Theatre by Raymond Cogniat is a rare book (in French) on French Stage Designers of the last fifty years (first edition 1955) and after a 47 page overview starts with some 100 plus black and white photographs with stage designs. The book ends with an extensive listing of designers and their works.

The next book Russian Avant-Garde Stage Design 1913-1935 deals with important Russian stage and costume design and the influence these stage designers had in Paris, the mecca of the theatre, in the first 25 years of the 20th. Century.


stage3stage4A well written and illustrated book Bakst (shown above) is a specialized work on the important Russian designer Bakst. The last one (not shown here) is titled Daghilev and Russian Stage Designers an older exhibition catalogue (1972) showing costume designs from the Lobanov-Rostovsky Collection with 64 pages with black and white illustrations. Reading these titles will draw you into the wonderful world of stage design.