Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.)

Variant names

Hide Profile

Collecting area: Materials relating to Radio City Music Hall productions.

From the description of Repository description. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155475695

Radio City Music Hall was reorganized under a new company, Rockefeller Group, Inc., in 1979.

From the description of New company production materials, 1979-1985. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155473391

Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City on Dec. 27, 1932. Boasting the world's largest stage with 4000 seats for spectators, it has become an American institution. Although it shows movies four times a day, it is best known for live performances every night. It had the longest running permanent corps de ballet in New York City until the mid 1970s but still host the Rockettes, a group of 36 precision dancers (plus 10 on rotating vacation) known for their seemingly identical height, brilliant headpieces, dazzeling smiles, and high kicks.

From the description of Belknap Collection, Theatre and theatre groups 1932- : Radio City Music Hall. (University of Florida). WorldCat record id: 60551785

Video footage begins with 1979.

From the description of Projection/audio-visual collection, [ca. 1933]-1985. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155473429

Percy Douglas was a vice president of Radio City Music Hall.

From the description of Administrative files, 1933-1977. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155473472

James Stewart Morcom (1906-1988) was a stage designer who served as the fifth Art Director for Radio City Music Hall.

James Morcom came to New York in 1926 and, from the following year until 1931, worked at the newly built Roxy Theatre as assistant to scenic designer Clark Robinson. When Robinson became the second Art Director for the new Radio City Music Hall in 1933, Morcom again assisted him before moving on to other projects. During the Depression Morcom designed display windows, created backdrops for the Columbia Burlesque theater chain, contributed designs to various plays, night club revues, and films, and also found work with the Federal Theatre Project. In 1936 Morcom worked in London on COCHRAN'S CORONATION REVUE. After returning to the United States and seeing Orson Welles in the title role of Doctor Faustus in his Mercury Theatre stage production of the Marlowe play, Morcom contributed designs to several Mercury productions, including FIVE KINGS, TOO MUCH JOHNSON, and NATIVE SON. During World War II he served in the Special Service Arts Department, designing sets and costumes for productions in Paris and London. After post-war study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, Morcom returned to New York where, after contributing designs to Billy Rose's DIAMOND HORSESHOE and the New York City Ballet, Morcom became Art Director of Radio City Music Hall in 1950. He was succeeded in the position in 1973 by John William Keck.

John William Keck (1929-2001) was a stage designer who served as the sixth Art Director for Radio City Music Hall, succeeding James Stewart Morcom in 1973, and holding the position until 1980.

John William Keck was born in Greenwich Village, New York City, on December 4, 1929. He attended the High School of Music and Art and attended Pratt Institute. Keck got his start as a summer stock scene painter in the 1950s, and eventually became a respected scenic designer. Keck was a designer for several years at Radio City Music Hall before he succeeded James Stewart Morcom as Art Director in 1973. He resigned from the position in the spring of 1980, and later designed sets for the Metropolitan Opera House.

From the description of Radio City Music Hall collection of the papers of James Stewart Morcom and John William Keck, 1926-1994. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122570508

James Stewart Morcom, set and costume designer for theater and ballet, became the fifth Art Director for Radio City Music Hall in 1950.

He had had an active design career in New York and London and had designed for Radio City Music Hall when it opened in 1933 and also in the late 1940s. He retired in 1973.

John William Keck, New York scenic designer, succeeded Morcom as Art Director of Radio City Music Hall in 1973.

He resigned in 1980 and next designed sets for the Metropolitan Opera House.

From the description of Radio City Music Hall collection of the designs of James Stewart Morcom and John William Keck, 1933-1979. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122607121

James Stewart Morcom was born in Kentucky on July 28, 1906 and grew up in Houston, Texas. After graduating from Central High School in 1924, Morcom moved to New York City in 1926 to attend the Grand Central Galleries Arts School and the Anderson-Milton School of Theatre. He also joined the Scenic Artists Union in 1926. When S. L. Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre at Seventh Avenue and Fiftieth Street in 1927, Morcom worked as an Assistant Director for the acclaimed producer and scenic designer Clark Robinson. His tenure lasted four years. In 1931 Morcom married his childhood classmate Cecile Cobb.

Morcom began designing for the brand new Radio City Music Hall in 1933 as an Assistant to Clark Robinson, the Music Hall's second Art Director, and continued to work with Robinson on various creative projects that included plays, musicals, night club revues, and motion pictures. Facing hard times and unemployment in the 1930s, Morcom found work in the early years of the Federal Theatre Project (FTP) for approximately 6-8 months. During this same period he also designed windows for the National Shoe Company, and created back drops for the Columbia Burlesque theater chain before leaving the United States in 1936 to work in London for Raoul N. Dubois on Cochran's Coronation Revue .

After seeing Orson Welles perform on stage in Dr. Faustus, Morcom started working for Welles' Mercury Theatre Productions designing the sets at union minimum salary in exchange to be cast as an extra in the plays. Morcom designed sets for Welles' Five Kings, Too Much Johnson and Native Son . In 1940 Morcom took on various assorted projects, such as designing for the Ford Theatre Ballet and Sue Hastings Marionettes at the New York World's Fair, designing for productions at Madison Square Garden, the Gay White Way Club in New York City for George White, and the Ballet Caravan.

Before entering the Army in May 1942, Morcom created numerous ballet sets for the prominent choreographer, director, and performer, Eugene Loring. Morcom served in the Special Service Arts Department in WWII, designing sets and costumes for productions in Paris and London. After WWII, he stayed in London and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts on the GI Bill of Rights and studied acting. Once Morcom returned to New York City he began to design for such celebrated clientele as Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe, the New York City Ballet, and designed costumes for Radio City Music Hall in the late 1940s. Morcom became the fifth Art Director for Radio City Music Hall in 1950, and retired from the theater in 1973. Morcom was succeeded as Art Director by John William Keck.

James Morcom participated in an oral history interview, conducted by Lorraine Brown on May 10, 1977, for the Special Collections & Research Center for the Federal Theatre Project at George Mason University. He died on May 28, 1988.

John William Keck, son of the well-known American sculptor Charles Keck, was born in Greenwich Village, New York City, on December 4, 1929. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art and attended Pratt Institute. Keck got his start as a scenic painter working in summer stock in the 1950s, and eventually became a well-respected scenic designer in the New York theater community. Keck was a designer at Radio City Music Hall for several years before he succeeded James Stewart Morcom as Art Director in 1973, and also worked at Nolan Scenery Studios. He resigned from Radio City Music Hall in the spring of 1980, then moved on to design sets for the Metropolitan Opera House. He died on April 3, 2001.

From the guide to the Radio City Music Hall collection of the designs of James Stewart Morcom and John William Keck, 1933-1979, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

James Stewart Morcom (1906-1988) was a stage designer who served as the fifth Art Director for Radio City Music Hall.

James Morcom came to New York in 1926 and, from the following year until 1931, worked at the newly built Roxy Theatre as assistant to scenic designer Clark Robinson. When Robinson became the second Art Director for the new Radio City Music Hall in 1933, Morcom again assisted him before moving on to other projects. During the Depression Morcom designed display windows, created backdrops for the Columbia Burlesque theater chain, contributed designs to various plays, night club revues, and films, and also found work with the Federal Theatre Project. In 1936 Morcom worked in London on Cochran's Coronation Revue. After returning to the United States and seeing Orson Welles in the title role of Doctor Faustus in his Mercury Theatre stage production of the Marlowe play, Morcom contributed designs to several Mercury productions, including Five Kings, Too Much Johnson, and Native Son . During World War II he served in the Special Service Arts Department, designing sets and costumes for productions in Paris and London. After post-war study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, Morcom returned to New York where, after contributing designs to Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe and the New York City Ballet, Morcom became Art Director of Radio City Music Hall in 1950. He was succeeded in the position in 1973 by John William Keck.

John William Keck was born in Greenwich Village, New York City, on December 4, 1929. He attended the High School of Music and Art and attended Pratt Institute. Keck got his start as a summer stock scene painter in the 1950s, and eventually became a respected scenic designer. Keck was a designer for several years at Radio City Music Hall before he succeeded James Stewart Morcom as Art Director in 1973. He resigned from the position in the spring of 1980, and later designed sets for the Metropolitan Opera House.

From the guide to the Radio City Music Hall collection of the papers of James Stewart Morcom and John William Keck, 1926-1994, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Programs, 1932-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Wexler, Peter John, 1936-. Peter Wexler papers, designs and photographic materials, New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Souvenir programs of motion pictures, 1915-1978. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Val Lindhe. Texas Woman's University Library, Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey Library
creatorOf Aitken, Webster. [Theater and concert programs from the Papers of Jeanne S. Mintz]. Library of Congress
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Radio City Music Hall collection of the papers of James Stewart Morcom and John William Keck, 1926-1994. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Desky, Donald, 1894-. Papers, 1927-1976. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Sutton, Leora M. Leora M. Sutton autobiographical files, 1937-1970. University of West Florida, John C. Pace Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Scenic designs, [ca. 1933]-1979. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). New company production materials, 1979-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Repository description. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Administrative files, 1933-1977. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Scrapbooks, 1933-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Jan Peerce collection of sound recordings, 1932-1983 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Sutton, Leora M., Autobiographical Files, 1937-1970 University of West Florida Libraries
creatorOf Grey, Robert G. Correspondence to Alma Mahler, 1944-1948. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall collection of the papers of James Stewart Morcom and John William Keck, 1926-1994 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Roxy and Radio City Music Hall costume designs: [graphic, ], ca. 1930-1939 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Soudeikine, Serge. Drawings for theater productions, 1926-1945. Houghton Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Recorded sound collection, [ca. 1933]-1985, 1945-1979 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Harrison, Wallace K. (Wallace Kirkman), 1895-. Wallace K. Harrison architectural drawings and papers, 1913-1986 (bulk 1930-1980). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Costume designs, 1933-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). [A collection of printed material pertaining to Radio City Music Hall, New York, N.Y.]. New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall collection of the designs of James Stewart Morcom and John William Keck, 1933-1979 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Institutional file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Projection/audio-visual collection, [ca. 1933]-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Publicity files, 1932-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Ferriss, Hugh, 1889-1962. Radio City [graphic] / Hugh Ferriss. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Production files, 1933-1979. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Radio City Music Hall collection of the designs of James Stewart Morcom and John William Keck, 1933-1979. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Poster collection, 1979-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Playbills for dramatic performances presented at Radio City Music Hall. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn J. Walter Thompson Company. Domestic Advertisements Collection, 1875-2001 and undated, bulk 1920s-1990s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Skinner, Frank M. Frank M. Skinner collection, circa 1937-1981. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Duke Ellington recordings collection Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Art Dept. photograph books, 1933-1979. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Miscellaneous music collection, [ca. 1932]-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Publicity photographs, [ca. 1933]-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Playbill Inc., Playbill, collection, 1924-1985. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Desky, Donald, 1894-1989. Donald Desky Collection, 1927-1989. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Souvenir programs for theaters, theatrical companies, and clubs, 1892-1978. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Belknap Collection, Theatre and theatre groups 1932- : Radio City Music Hall. University of Florida
referencedIn McNamara, Brooks 1937-. The Brooks McNamara papers, 1896-1997 (bulk 1970-1977). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn J. Walter Thompson Company. Dan Seymour Papers, 1951-1974 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Johnson, Albert, 1910-1967. Papers, 1910-1967. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Music collection, [ca. 1932]-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Programs collection I : New York City theaters, [ca. 1865]-[ongoing] University of Pittsburgh
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Guild of Variety Artists. corporateBody
associatedWith Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith Desky, Donald, 1894- person
associatedWith Desky, Donald, 1894-1989. person
associatedWith Dodge, Joseph Jeffers person
associatedWith Douglas, Percy. person
associatedWith Ferriss, Hugh, 1889-1962. person
associatedWith George A. Smathers Libraries. Dept. of Special and Area Studies Collections. corporateBody
associatedWith Grey, Robert G. person
associatedWith Harrison, Wallace K. (Wallace Kirkman), 1895- person
associatedWith Jackson, John. person
associatedWith Johnson, Albert, 1910-1967. person
associatedWith J. Walter Thompson Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Keck, John William, 1929-2001. person
associatedWith McNamara, Brooks 1937- person
associatedWith Morcom, James Stewart, 1906-1988. person
associatedWith Packard, Albert person
associatedWith Peerce, Jan, 1904-1984 person
associatedWith Playbill Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Corps de ballet. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Rockettes. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Rockettes. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Rockettes. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Rockettes. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Rockettes. corporateBody
associatedWith Rapee, Erno. person
associatedWith Rockefeller Group. corporateBody
associatedWith Rockettes (Dance company) corporateBody
associatedWith Roxy Theatre (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Soudeikine, Serge. person
associatedWith Sutton, Leora M. person
associatedWith Wexler, Peter John, 1936- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York NY US
Subject
Advertising--Performing arts
Architecture
Musical revue, comedy, etc
Playbills
Advertising
Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.)--Description--Views
Actresses--Archives
Music--Performance
Theater--Archives
Stage photography
Set designers--United States
Actors--Archives
Silent films--Musical accompaniment
Costume designers
Performing arts--New York (State)--New York
Dance--Production and direction
Music halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.)--New York (N.Y.)
Theater curtains
Musicals--Excerpts, Arranged
Costume
Showgirls--Archives
Set designers
Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery
Theater
Theater--New York (State)--New York
Costume design
Buildings
Music-halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.)
Dancers--Archives
Dancing
Labor unions and the arts
Dancing--Stage setting and scenery
Performing Arts
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1932

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6ch0d1t

Ark ID: w6ch0d1t

SNAC ID: 83212029