While in New York City this past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the Shubert Archive
. The Archive is a large collection of theater-related material which is not open to the public, but is available for research purposes. A friend secured an appointment and we spent an enjoyable few hours learning about the Shuberts and the various aspects of the collection. The archivist Mark E. Swartz was our guide during the visit - Mr Swartz is also the author of Before the Rainbow,
a study of productions of The Wizard of Oz
prior to the 1939 film. This book was extremely useful to me when I worked on my toy theater!
My reason for visiting was to see what material was available concerning the 1903 Wizard of Oz
. I was aware that the collection included some of Caroline Siedle's costume designs for the show, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a dozen examples - more than I expected! I've added two other examples I know of to show all the surviving costume designs that I'm aware of. These costume drawings are one of the few tangible things that survive from the creation of the show.
There are a number of other Siedle designs in the collection, including several which are unidentified. I think I helped to classify one of the unknown examples, which I've included in the above lineup - I believe this drawing is for the second act Emerald City outfit worn by Dashemoff Daily, played by Bessie Wynn.
Fabulous work--thanks for the images!
At 55, Fred Stone might have been too old for the Scarecrow (especially after breaking both legs in a 1929 plane crash) but he would have been a good age to play Uncle Henry. MGM's publicity department could have made a lot out of that.
That would have been a nice casting tribute!
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