Archive of Sketches for Dance Costumes. Dorothy Kidder.
Archive of Sketches for Dance Costumes.
Archive of Sketches for Dance Costumes.
Archive of Sketches for Dance Costumes.

Archive of Sketches for Dance Costumes.

New York: 1938 - 1943. One hundred and eleven dazzling original water color design sketches of dance costumes, many with multiple fabric swatches attached, along with 64 full page color printed costume designs, with 11 clipped pages in a working archive from an upstate New York dance studio.

The archive also includes handwritten notes on costume design; a notebook dated from the late 1930s recording designs and fabric orders placed; costume designs clipped from contemporary publications; programs for the June 5, 1941 Dance Revue featuring pupils of the Dorothy Kidder School of Dancing; correspondence addressed to Miss Dorothy Kidder in Batavia, NY; printed price lists from Dazian's and Maharams; costume patterns; and a typed letter to Dorothy Kidder signed Florence C. Powers.

The compiler was Dorothy Robinson Kidder (1917 - 1995), a philanthropist who supported the arts and dance in particular, providing funding for programs at the Kennedy Center. She also contributed to the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, and the Museum of Modern Art. Mrs. Kidder was a great granddaughter of the founder of the Jordan Marsh department store company and The Boston Globe.

The costumes cover a wide range of styles and fabrics which capture the exuberant mood of the period, from tutus to floor length gowns, including military styled outfits with red caps and American flags, flowered summer dresses, and trousers & bolero jackets.

Some of the water color designs are titled in pencil: "Toy Trumpeteers (sic)"; "La Belle"; "Soft Shoe"; "Winchell's Column - Baby"; "Tight Rope Walker"; "Bare back Rider"; "Spinning Top"; "Harlem Bolero" and more. Each of these designs has annotations and smaller water color sketches of the back of the costume, as well as sketches of accessories.

Many of the images are mounted on cards with the name of the fabric vendors printed at the top, including Dazian's, a firm founded on the lower East Side of New York in 1842, as as street cart. Dazian's is still in the theatrical fabrics business today.

Other fabric vendors here include Maharam and Associated Fabrics, both of New York City. Maharam was founded in 1902 by Louis Maharam, a Russian immigrant; in the 1940s it was a source of theatrical textiles for costume and set design.

Associated Fabrics design cards are printed in color, numbered, titled (for example, "Hat Checkers", Musical Comedy Maid) and with printed "fabric suggestions". Signed "Gwen", many of them are highlighted in silver gilt, gold gilt, and bronze. Some designs are executed in water color; others are printed. They vary in size between approximately 6 x 8.5" and 8.5 x 11.5".

The archive also includes handwritten notes on costume design; a notebook dated from the late 1930s recording designs and fabric orders placed; costume designs clipped from contemporary publications; programs for the June 5, 1941 Dance Revue featuring pupils of the Dorothy Kidder School of Dancing; correspondence addressed to Miss Dorothy Kidder in Batavia, NY; printed price lists from Dazian's and Maharams; costume patterns; and a typed letter to Dorothy Kidder signed Florence C. Powers.

The compiler was Dorothy Robinson Kidder (1917 - 1995), a philanthropist who supported the arts and dance in particular, providing funding for programs at the Kennedy Center. She also contributed to the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, and the Museum of Modern Art. Mrs. Kidder was a great granddaughter of the founder of the Jordan Marsh department store company and The Boston Globe.

A trove of costume designs and fabrics from the late 1930s to the early 1940s, offering a fascinating look at the exuberant styles of the period. Very good condition. Item #23447

Price: $1,250.00

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