Craig, Edward Gordon, 1872-1966Alternative names
Craig was an English artist, stage designer, and author.
From the description of Letters to Virginia Ashley Clarke, 1947-1966. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122575068
From the guide to the Edward Gordon Craig letters to Virginia Ashley Clarke, 1947-1966., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)
From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to an unidentified recipient, 1900 July 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270877430
Edward Gordon Craig (1872–1966) was an English actor, theatre director, designer, wood engraver, critic, publisher and self taught artist. He wrote many books on the theatre, produced over 500 wood engravings, and designed for theatre throughout Europe and in Moscow.
From the guide to the Proofs for the Cranach Presse edition of Shakespeare's, Hamlet, 1911-1930., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)
Edward Gordon Craig was the son of actress Ellen Terry and architect Edward William Godwin. Given the surname Craig by his parents, he began as an actor in Henry Irving's company, but soon turned to production design. His revolutionary theories utilized set design, decor, and costumes, to reinforce the theme of the play rather than realistically depict an object. Although his early productions were artistic successes, they were commercial failures. He toured Europe, writing and producing, and founded The Mask, in which many of his theories were published. He later wrote theatre history. His theories were influential in moving theatre productions away from natural settings toward the symbolic.
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig letters and related materials, 1900-1978 (bulk 1900-1931). (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 62213089
Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was an English actor, theatre director, designer, wood engraver, critic, publisher and self taught artist. He wrote many books on the theatre, produced over 500 wood engravings, and designed for theatre throughout Europe and in Moscow.
From the description of Proofs for the Cranach Presse edition of Shakespeare's Hamlet, 1911-1930. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612750826
Edward Henry Gordon Craig [was an] English actor, theatre director-designer, producer, and theorist who influenced the development of the theatre in the 20th century.--"Craig, Edward Gordon." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Academic ed. http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9026732 (Retrieved December 15, 2008)
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig bookplates, 1896-1900. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 288659668
Edward Gordon Craig was an English stage designer and artist. He is often referred to as Gordon Craig. He also wrote books about the theatre and its personalities. He was the son of the actress Ellen Terry and was involved with, though never married to, Isadora Duncan. Their only child died at the age of seven.
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig fonds. . (University of Victoria Libraries). WorldCat record id: 667848414
Mother of Claud Lovat Fraser.
From the description of Letters : Rapallo, to Mrs. Claud Fraser, London and Buntingford, 1921-1922. (Bryn Mawr College). WorldCat record id: 28258871
Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) était acteur, metteur en scène, scénographe, graveur et théoricien du théâtre. Il était le fils de l'architecte Edward William Godwin (1833-1886) et de l'actrice Ellen Alice Terry (1848-1928). À sa naissance il s'appelait Edward Godwin Terry ; son nom fut officiellement changé en Edward Wardell en 1878. Il adopta le nom de scène Gordon Craig en 1891, qui fut officialisé par la suite. Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was an actor, a stage director, a scenographer, an engraver, and a theatre theorist. He was the son of architect Edward William Godwin (1833-1886) and actress Ellen Alice Terry (1848-1928). Originally named Edward Godwin Terry, his name was changed to Edward Wardell in 1878. In 1891, he adopted the stage name Gordon Craig, which was then confirmed by deed poll.
Extrait de l’instrument de recherche de la Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des arts du spectacle: Fonds Edward Gordon Craig (FRBNFEAD000004234)
Edward Henry Gordon Craig was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, Jan. 16, 1872; son of Ellen Terry, a Shakespearean actress, and Edward William Godwin, and brother of Edith Craig, a theatrical producer and director; attended Southfield Park School in Tunbridge Wells, Bradfield College, and Heidelberg College in Germany; married and later divorced from actress May Gibson; member of the Lyceum, London, where he received training as an actor and began his career in stage design and production, 1889-95; involved in productions such as Acis and Galatea (1902), The vikings at Helgeland (1903), and Much ado about nothing (1903); publications include: The art of the theatre (1905), On the art of theatre (1911), Scene (1923), Woodcuts and some words (1924) and a partial biography titled, Index to the story of my days (1957); magazine publications include: The page (1898-1901) and The mask (1908-29); appointed Royal Designer for Industry of the Royal College of Art, 1938; made a Companion of Honour, 1958; president of the Mermaid Theatre, London (1964); died July 29, 1966 in Vence, France.
From the description of Papers, 1883-1966. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 38515590
Craig was an English scene designer, producer and actor. Moult was an English poet, novelist and critic.
From the description of Letters to Thomas Moult, 1919-1923. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81193222
From the guide to the Letters to Thomas Moult, 1919-1923., (Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)
Edward Gordon Craig, British actor, artist, theater designer, director and producer.
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig collection, 1905-1963. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79865194
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig collection, 1905-1963. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702161229
Theatrical producer, actor, and set designer of Great Britain.
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig correspondence, 1926-1938. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79449803
Influential English artist of the theater, Edward Gordon Craig was a designer, director, actor and author.
From the description of Prints of Hamlet, 1913-1914 and n.d. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122456265
From the guide to the Prints of Hamlet, 1913-1914 and n.d, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)
Craig was an English scene designer, producer and actor.
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig scrapbook, 1888-1948. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 778969097
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig papers, 1893-1964 and undated. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 612765398
From the guide to the Edward Gordon Craig papers, 1893-1964., (Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)
Stage designer, actor, director, and theorist. Edward Craig was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. He worked for nine years as an actor in Irving's company, but left the Lyceum in 1897 to be both a director and a designer. He settled in Italy in 1906, where he published the theatre journal, The Mask, 1908-1929, which together with his scene designs and his books, On the Art of the Theatre, 1911, and The Theatre Advancing, 1921, had a profound influence on modern theatre practice.
From the description of Letters, 1919-1945. (Florida State University). WorldCat record id: 50658773
A well-known English play-wright, puppeteer, and editor of "The Mask". The son of Ellen Terry. (from cf. W.W. ; Paul McPharlin papers) (Blue index cards)
From the description of Edward Gordon Craig papers, undated. (Detroit Public Library). WorldCat record id: 317870456
Edward Henry Gordon Craig was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, January 16, 1872; son of Ellen Terry, a Shakespearean actress, and Edward William Godwin, and brother of Edith Craig, a theatrical producer and director; attended Southfield Park School in Tunbridge Wells, Bradfield College, and Heidelberg College in Germany; married and later divorced from actress May Gibson; member of the Lyceum, London, where he received training as an actor and began his career in stage design and production, 1889-95; involved in productions such as Acis and Galatea (1902), The Vikings at Helgeland (1903), and Much Ado About Nothing (1903); publications include: The Art of the Theatre (1905), On the Art of Theatre (1911), Scene (1923), Woodcuts and Some Words (1924) and a partial biography titled, Index to the Story of My Days (1957); magazine publications include: The Page (1898-1901) and The Mask (1908-29); appointed Royal Designer for Industry of the Royal College of Art, 1938; made a Companion of Honour, 1958; president of the Mermaid Theatre, London (1964); died July 29, 1966 in Vence, France.
January 16, 1872:
Edward Henry Gordon Craig born at Stevenage, Hertsfordshire, England. Son of Ellen Terry and Edward William Godwin.
1883- 1886: Southfield Park School, Tunbridge Wells
1884- 1885: Visits United States on tour with Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. Makes first speaking appearance on stage in Eugene Aram.
1886- 1887: Bradfield College.
1887- 1888: Heidelberg College, Heidelberg.
1888- 1889: Southfield Park School, Tunbridge Wells, as a private student.
1889- 1892: At the Lyceum, London, under the direction of Henry Irving; provincial tours.
At the Lyceum. Met James Pryde and William Nicholson (the Beggarstaff artists) and began wood carving; at Uxbridge does his first stage production, de Musset's On ne badine pas avec l'amour.
Leaves the Lyceum; provincial tours.
Prepares productions of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet with his own company at the Parkhurst Theatre.
Meets Martin Shaw, the English composer and conductor.
Begins publishing The Page, which ran until 1901.
Publishes Gordon Craig's Book of Penny Toys.
Publishes Bookplates, a booklet. Presents Dido and Aeneas with Martin Shaw and the Purcell Operatic Society in May. Designs and prints a program for the production.
Presents Dido and Aeneas and The Masque of Love in London with Martin Shaw.
Presents Acis and Galatea and The Masque of Love in London. Publishes souvenir program illustrated by his woodcuts for the performance. Designs settings for Bethlehem for Laurence Housman.
Publishes prospectus for The Harvest Home. Designs sets for Fred Terry's production of Sword and Song and enters theatrical management with Ellen Terry and Edith Craig (Edward Gordon Craig's sister) in production of Ibsen's The Vikings and Much Ado about Nothing. Elected a member of the Society of Twelve, London.
Draws up prospectus for a School of the Theatre. Designs scenes for the Lessing Theater's production of Venice Preserved, in Berlin and meets Isadora Duncan.
Publishes The Art of the Theatre. Develops theory of the über-marionnette.
Publishes Isadora Duncan - Six Movement Designs in Germany. Meets Eleonora Duse in Berlin and designs sets for Rosmersholm for her.
Settles in Florence. The White Fan by Hofmannstal published with woodcut illustrations by Craig. Development of black figures and moveable screens for stage settings.
Begins publishing The Mask in Florence as forum for theatre criticism; publishes A Portfolio of Etchings. Travels to Moscow to discuss Stanislavsky's production of Hamlet.'
Travels to Moscow.
Publishes On the Art of the Theatre. W.B. Yeats uses Craig's new screens in sets for his plays at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Honored by dinner in London on July 16. In Moscow for the presentation of Hamlet by Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre, December.
Announces financial support for his School for the Art of the Theatre. Publishes A Living Theatre from Florence.
1914- 1916: School closes due to war and lack of funds; suspends publication of The Mask, writes marionette plays.
Moves to the Villa Raggio, Rapallo, Italy.
Republishes The Mask in April. Publishes The Marionette, one vol. only.
Suspends publication of The Mask. The Theatre Advancing is published in Boston.
Invited to open the International Exhibition of Theatre Art and Craft at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Exhibit travels to London and Manchester.
Publishes Woodcuts and Some Words, and Nothing, or the Bookplate.
Publishes Books and Theatres.
Designs production of Ibsen's The Crown Pretenders at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen for Adam and Johannes Poulsen.
English edition of the Cranach Press Hamlet with Craig's prints is published. In A Production-1926, Craig's illustrations for The Crown Pretenders are published. Also published the biography, Henry Irving.
Publishes the biography, Ellen Terry and her Secret Self.
Invited to Volta Conference in Rome by Pirandello and Marconi; meets Marinetti, Maeterlinck, and Gropius.
Visits Moscow and meets Brecht, Litvanov and Eisenstein.
Appointed a Royal Designer for Industry.
Taken to Stalag 142, Besançon, as a British citizen living in occupied Paris.
Publishes his partial autobiography, Index to the Story of my Days.
Made a Companion of Honour.
Issuing of radio talks made for the BBC 1951-1957 as three discs, London. Eight Wood Engravings for Hamlet privately printed.
Dies in Vence, France.
From the guide to the Edward Gordon Craig Papers, 1883-1966, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)
Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was the second of two illegitimate children born to the actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward William Godwin. Like his older sister Edith, Gordon Craig followed his mother into drama. He attended Southfield Park School in Tunbridge Wells, Bradfield College, and Heidelberg College in Germany. Craig became a member of the Lyceum, London, the theatre associated with Henry Irving, where he received training as an actor and began his career in stage design and production. Although Craig's radical ideas would prove highly influential, his English productions were commercial failures. In 1904, he left England for the continent, where he wrote several influential pieces on stage design including "The Art of the Theatre" (1905; republished as "On the Art of the Theatre" in 1911) and "The Actor and the Übermarionette" (1907). Craig's belief in the potential of abstract scenic and lighting design, his studies of movement, and the moveable screens that he created played a prominent role in dramatic experimentation in the early twentieth century. He died in 1966 in Vence, France.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was born in Dublin, Ireland. He moved to London in 1870, where he tried his hand at writing novels and became involved in progressive politics. Among his many projects, he helped to found the Fabian Society, an organization dedicated to transforming Britain into a socialist state. Although Shaw had been writing plays since 1891, he first became a recognized figure in English drama when he was named drama critic of the Saturday Review in 1895; he soon emerged as perhaps the most important British playwright of the early twentieth century. Among his most famous works are "Arms and the Man" (1898), "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1898), "Man and Superman" (1902), and "Major Barbara" (1905). Shaw's interest in Ellen Terry dated from her performance in "New Men and Old Acres" in 1878; after he penned "The Man of Destiny" with Ellen Terry in mind in 1895, their correspondence became more intense. Shaw received numerous awards and accolades, including the 1925 Nobel Prize (which he declined).
From the guide to the Edward Gordon Craig Notes and Drafts for a Plea to George Bernard Shaw, 1929-1931, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)
- Gordon Craig
- 1872 Jan. 16Born at [UNK], [UNK], son of Ellen Terry and Edward William Godwin. Christened “Edward Henry Gordon Craig” at age sixteen.
- 1889-1897Appeared as actor with several companies, including Henry Irving's company at the Lyceum Theatre.
- 1893Married May Gibson.
- 1896Formed his own company, giving Hamletand Romeo and Juliet.
- 1898-1901Published The Page,a magazine devoted to the arts. Became increasingly involved in art work and scene design.
- 1900Met Elena Meo.
- 1900-1902Designed and produced several highly innovative productions with Martin Shaw and his Purcell Operatic Society:
- 1900Dido and Aeneas(Purcell)
- 1901The Masque of Love (music from Purcell's opera Dioclesian)
- 1902Acis and Galatea(Handel and John Gay)Bethlehem(Housman)
- 1901Arranged first of many exhibitions - this of bookplates.
- 1903Designed and directed The Vikings(Ibsen) for Ellen Terry. Also designed Much Ado About Nothingfor Ellen Terry and For Sword or Songfor Fred Terry. Wrote and designed The Masque of Hunger, The Masque of London,and The Masque of Lunatics.Met Count Kessler. Visited Berlin in July.
- 1904Left for Berlin in August to prepare designs for Venice Preserved(Otway-Hofmannsthal) for Dr. [UNK] of the Lessing Theater. Met Isadora Duncan in December.
- 1905Prepared a dozen exhibitions in Germany and Vienna. Formed Direktion Vereinigter Kunst to further his own projects and manage Isadora Duncan's appearances. Designed Klektrafor Eleonora Duse (not produced).
- 1906Designed Rosmersholmin Florence for Eleonora Duse.
- 1907-1914Moved to Florence. Created Screens, Über-Marionette, and the Black Figures in 1907. Began publishing The Maskin 1908, continuing to work on it with some interruptions until 1929. Made sketches in 1908 for a ballet project, Psyche,and agreed to produce Hamletfor the Moscow Art Theatre. In 1911, demonstrated his movable screens daily on a large model stage in London. W.B. Yeats used Craig's screens in one of his plays in Dublin. Craig opened a school in Florence in 1913. Built large model for Bach's St. Matthew Passion, which was broken up when the school closed at the outbreak of war.
- 1918Published The Marionette,a magazine.
- 1921Issue of The Chapbook, a Monthly Miscellany,devoted to Craig's article “Puppets and Poets.”
- 1926Designed The Crown Pretenders(Ibsen) for Johannes and Adam Poulsen at the [UNK] Theatre in Copenhagen. Received the Cross of the Knight of Dannebrog for his services to the Danish theater.
- 1928Prepared set and costume designs for a production of Macbeth in New York. The Cranach Press in Weimar published Hamlet,translated into German by Cerhart Hauptmann and illustrated by Craig.
- 1934“Settings for an Ideal Theatre” displayed at an International Exhibition of Theatre Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
- 1956Made Companion of Honour by Queen Elizabeth of England.
- 1966 July 29Died in Vence.
- 1878? May 27Born in San Francisco
- 1896To Chicago. Met Augustin Daly and was engaged to dance in A Midsummer Night's Dreamin New York. Danced under Daly for two years in various shows.
- 1898-99Gave concerts in Carnegie Hall Studio with Ethelbert Nevin, and danced in the drawing-rooms of New York society. Gave three different concerts in Newport, including The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,September 1898. In April, 1899, danced The Happier Age of Gold,Idylls from Theocritus and [UNK] at the Lyceum Theatre in New York.
- 1899-1900To London. Danced in private homes and before Queen Victoria, and was admired by artists and intellectuals. Dance Idyllsprogram.
- 1900-1901To Paris. Gave Dance Idyllsprogram in private salons and studios, again attracting artists, intellectuals, and the social élite.
- 1902Travelled with the Loie Fuller troupe. Met Alexander Grose, the impresario, after dancing for artists at the Kunstler Haus in Vienna. Gross arranged her contract to dance 30 evenings in Budapest.
- 1903Gave Dance Idyllsprogram at the Théatre Sarah Bernhardt in Paris, June-July. Debut at Kroll Opera House, Berlin. To Greece for winter.
- 1904Presented The Suppliants(Aeschylus) with a Greek boy's chorus in Vienna and Germany. Spent May-August in Bayreuth where she danced in Tannhauserat the invitation of [UNK] Cosima Wagner. Opened school in Grunewald with her sister, Elizabeth, and met Gordon Craig in December. Christmas in St. Petersburg.
- 1905Visited Russia again in February. Gave many concerts in Germany, Belgium, and Holland. Danced Gluck's [UNK].
- 1906Toured Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Sweden with Craig and Martin Shaw. Spent summer at Villa [UNK] near Noordwijk, on the Dutch coast. Daughter, Deirdre, born in September. Translated conversations between Craig and Eleonora Duse in Florence, late November, where [UNK] was designing Rosmersholm.Performances in Warsaw, December-January.
- 1907Ill with neuralgia January-March. Toured Germany, Holland, and Switzerland. To Russia in December. Friendship with Constantin Stanislavsky.
- 1908Toured Russia in January and again in the spring. Gave concerts in London and New York under Charles Frohman's management. Late in year appeared in U.S. with Walter Damrosch conducting.
- 1909Concert series in Paris under the direction of LugnéPoe. [UNK] Paris Singer. Concerts in U.S. with Damrosch in November.
- 1910Son, Patrick, born May 1.
- 1911Appeared again in U.S. with Damrosch. Danced Gluck's Orpheus.
- 1913Concerts in Paris with Mounet-Sully, the Colonne orchestra and chorus, and Gabriel Pierné. April 19, children drowned in Seine. Joined brother Raymond to help refugees in Epirus, May-June. Lived near Eleonora Duse in Viarregio in the fall.
- 1914Opened school at Bellevue, near Paris.
- 1915Improvised La Marseillaise at the Metropolitain Opera House in New York. Gave unsuccessful performances at the Century Theatre.
- 1916South American tour. Performances in Paris and New York.
- 1918Met Walter Morse Pummel. Tour of France.
- 1919[UNK] Festival in Paris. Tour of Switzerland.
- 1921To Moscow in July to open school at the invitation of the Russian government.
- 1922Married Serge Essenin on May 3. Began U.S. tour with sell-out concerts at Carnegie Hall in October. Much of tour cancelled because of her “Bolshevik tendencies.”
- 1923-24Performances throughout Russia. Last Russian performance given before the party leaders in September, 1924.
- 1927Gave last concert, July 8, at the Théatre Mogador in Paris. Killed in accident in Nice, September 14.
A summary of events reflected in the Craig-Duncan manuscripts follows. References are to folders in the collection.
- 1904The Craig-Duncan correspondence begins three or four days after the first meeting of Isadora Duncan and Gordon Craig on the evening of December 14 or 15 at the Duncan apartment at 11 Hardenburg Strasse in Berlin. The first meeting or two are referred to in notes written by both Isadora and Craig during a train journey in January (#23). On the evening of December 15, Isadora and Craig left a party in the Duncan apartment over the protests of Isadora's brother, and drove to Potsdam and back, returning to Berlin at dawn. Isadora spent the 16th at the lodging of Elise de Brouckère (#291 and 346), who had introduced Craig to her. Edward Craig, Gordon Craig, The Story of His Life(New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1968) pp 190-193. In writing this book, which deals with the Craig-Duncan relationship in considerable detail, Edward Craig made use of many of the items in the Craig-Duncan Collection. Later, Isadora joined Craig in his studio and apartment at #11 and # 6 [UNK] for several days. She returned to her own flat on the 18th for a reception (#1) and appears to have given at least one performance during this period when she was staying with Craig (#2 and 3). She also helped her sister, Elizabeth, who was organizing the new school in Grunewald (#3).On December 23, Isadora left Berlin to perform in St. Petersburg. As she left she wrote Craig a letter with the phrase “until I return to the Heart in which I was born”, which affected him deeply (#6 and 289). She planned to be back in Berlin on December 31 (#16, 18, 19, and 21).
- 1905A son (Edward Craig) was born to Craig in England on January 3 by Elena Meo, who figures in later letters as “Nelly” or “N”, and who was later known as Mrs. Gordon Craig although they may not have been legally married. Isadora may have known about Craig's relationship with Elena Meo as early as 1905. Her feelings about Elena varied between jealousy (#35?, 36?, 258), of which she was ashamed, and great generosity (45, 47, 86, 158, 162, 247 and 263).On January 15 Isadora and Craig travelled by train to or from Dresden, writing down all their thoughts along the way. They apparently thought that Isadora was pregnant (#23). They were in Hamburg from January 24-31, where Isadora gave auditions for pupils for her new school (#25 and 309). In February they apparently travelled together to Russia (#41, 216, 310, and 357). Toward the end of March, Isadora gave a series of highly successful performances in Brussels, and then was joined by Craig for a short holiday in Villiers-la-Ville (#38, 39, 41, 338, 347, and 348). Late in April Craig wrote his book, The Art of the Theatre,in the space of two weeks (#338).Isadora's business affairs began to be handled by Craig and Maurice Magnus through Direktion Vereinigter Kunst early in 1905. During the summer a theater agent in Amsterdam, “Stumpff”, began arranging Isadora's bookings in Holland, dealing with her, Craig, and Magnus. His name recurs frequently in the correspondence through 1907. The income from Isadora's appearances helped support her school in Grunewald, the Duncan family, herself, and Craig. Both Craig and Isadora were absorbed in their creative work. One recurring theme in Isadora's letters of this period is the difficulty of reconciling love and work (#44, 47, and 57. See also #15, 132, 148, and 216).1905 was the year of closest association between Isadora Duncan and Gordon Craig. They travelled together and saw each other almost every day. For this reason, they wrote each other fewer letters than in 1906 or 1907.
- 1906Isadora became pregnant sometime during December, 1905. Early in the year, Craig wrote to his friend, Martin Shaw, asking him to come to Berlin and possibly conduct for Isadora. [UNK] came and was soon engaged. Craig, Shaw, and Isadora travelled together to Nuremburg, Augsburg, Minich, Amsterdam, Harlem, the Hague, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Gothenburg on a performing tour which Isadora had planned before becoming pregnant. Martin Fallas Shaw, Up to Now(London, Oxford University Press, 1929) pp 65-80; and Craig, Gordon Craig,pp 213-214.The doctor told Isadora that she could dance until the end of May, and after having the baby in late summer, could start dancing again around the first of December (#55). This is almost exactly what she did. After the tour ended, Isadora wrote Craig several letters from Gautzch (?) where she was staying with Dr. and Frau Zehme studying yoga, taking walks, and promoting a project between Dr. Zehme and Craig (#63-69). These letters probably date from late May. Several of them mention Kathleen (#59-62 and 65). This was her friend, Kathleen Bruce, whom Isadora had met through Rodin. She was a sculptress and made a sculpture of Gordon Craig contemplating one of his marionettes when both of them were visiting Isadora at Noordwijk during the summer.The first week in June, Isadora rented a house on the Dutch coast at Noordwijk, an hour's trip from Amsterdam (#71 and 350). It was called Villa Maria, and she lived there through October. Craig spent his time mostly in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, visiting her occasionally. He was in England between July 18-21, seeing Elena Meo and their two children. Craig, Gordon Craig,p 214. Two unhappy letters from Isadora correspond with this period in July (#85 and 86).In September (September 14?) Isadora gave birth to a daughter, Deirdre. From this point on the baby, also called “Snowdrop,” is mentioned in almost all of Isadora's letters (#93 et seq.). Isadora remained in Noordwijk recuperating until the end of October (#103), when she returned to Berlin. In Berlin, she and Count Harry Kessler, Craig's friend and patron, brought Craig and Eleonora Duse together. Craig was invited to design a production of Rosmersholmfor Duse in Florence. (He had, at Kessler's instigation, already designed a production of Elektrain the spring of 1905 to star Duse, but it came to nothing.) Craig, Isadora, the baby, and Marie Kist, the baby's nurse, travelled to Florence in November. Isadora translated the conversations between Craig and Duse, who did not speak the same language. The play was performed with Craig's sets on December 5 (#105-107 and 126).Isadora was the first to leave Florence. She travelled to Warsaw sometime between December 1-17 and gave a series of performances in Poland extending into the new year. A letter dated December 1 in Warsaw was either dated by the Russian (Julian) calendar which was 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar used in Europe, or was dated incorrectly (#108). Isadora's letters reflect some of the political unrest prevailing in central Poland, which was, at that time, part of Russia. Some of her engagements were cancelled or delayed due to fighting in the streets (#120, 121). She was also plagued with illness and concerned about money as she struggled to resume work.Isadora's pregnancy and the onset of motherhood not only interrupted her dancing but intensified her conflict with traditional attitudes towards women. Many of her letters from 1906 and 1907 reflect her struggle to define woman and [UNK] and to relate her own feelings to her definitions (#56, 57, 66, 82, 133, 145, 255, 256, 259. See also #29 and 37).
- 1907Isadora was scheduled to tour Holland in January, but she became too ill to continue dancing in Amsterdam (#134). Soon after, Eleonora Duse wired Craig from Nice, asking him to come and help with the scene of Rosmersholm(#135). As soon as she was able, Isadora went to Nice where she joined the baby, Fraulein Kist, and her mother (#136, 137). Craig left Nice either before she arrived or shortly after, and made his way to Florence. In spite of the many letters written by Isadora in 1907, the two ceased to be lovers at this time. Isadora remained in Nice suffering from neuralgia until the end of [UNK] when she returned to Holland and began performing again (#157, 160). Her [UNK], which caused her great pain, was ascribed to “nerves” (#141, 145, 162, 257, 258). In 1919 she wrote to Craig, saying “For years I suffer from Neu-ras-then-ia which malady translated means Incurable Sorrow and Heartbreak...” (#240).Although their relationship was deteriorating and under great stress in 1907, Isadora and Craig agreed on a plan for the future which involved saving money and building a theater and school in Florence (#169, 179, 181, 186, 196, and 340). Although she was able to send Craig money from time to time, Isadora agonized over her inability to do enough through the summer of 1907 (#192, 194-196, and 198). She had great difficulty getting summer engagements (#169-175) and was under pressure from Craig to do more (#268 and 269).In September, after a long and discouraging summer, Isadora decided to vacation in Venice (#197-205). Craig was angry that she used her savings this way (#198). She visited him briefly in Florence on her way back to Germany (#273), after he had declined to join her in Venice. He was short of funds and wrapped up in his work in Florence, where he had several people working with him on a variety of projects (#268, 270, and 271). During her brief visit it became clear that Craig's romantic interest in her was finished (#205). The encounter upset her deeply and left them both with ambivalent feelings (#205, 258?, 272-274). Isadora now began to drink heavily and frequent “merrie company” to overcome her despair (#209, 210, 216 and 218). Craig felt that his work was not important to her, and was both hurt and hostile (#205, 272, 274, and 340).In December, Isadora left for a tour of Russia. She became friendly with Constantin Stanislavsky of the Moscow Art Theatre and spoke to him at length about Craig and his work (#214, 215, 217, and 218). She was instrumental in getting Stanislavsky to invite Craig in 1908 to design a work for the theater. Stanislavsky also apparently tried to help Isadora find support for moving her school from Germany to Russia.
- 1908After writing to Craig about Stanislavsky several times in January, Isadora's letter-writing tapered off. She returned briefly to Berlin, and then went back to Russia with several of her pupils to tour the Caucasus (#218 and 220). She wrote to Craig before going to London in July to perform at the Duke of York's Theatre and again before leaving for America in August. One of these letters (#222) enraged him (#281 and 282).
- 1909In 1909, Craig and Isadora met in St. Petersburg. The meeting, with Stanislavsky present, has been recounted differently by Isadora Isadora Duncan, My Life(New York, Boni and Liveright, 1927) pp 235-236 and by Edward Craig. Craig, Gordon Craig,p 252 Isadora's note (#224) asking Craig to come and see her may relate to this meeting.
- 1913On April 19, Isadora's children (Deirdre, her daughter by Craig, and Patrick, her son by Paris Singer) were drowned in the Seine. This tragedy set off an exchange of telegrams and letters between her and Craig from April to December. They apparently met at least once in Florence in the fall (#235).
- 1919-1920In December, 1919, Isadora and Craig met in Rome. At this time, Isadora was living with the musician Walter Morse [UNK], who she called her “Archangel” (#240, 242, and 247). She and Craig corresponded and saw each other on occasion through the spring of 1920 while Craig was living in Paris.There is nothing to indicate that Isadora Duncan and Gordon Craig not or corresponded after 1920, although they both thought and spoke of each other often until their deaths. In 1925, when [UNK] needed money and threatened to publish letters from her lovers to raise it, Craig corresponded with Paris Singer through his friend Richard Wallace to see about giving her money (#340).
From the guide to the Craig-Duncan collection, 1901-1957, (The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.)
Edward Gordon Craig was a theatrical producer, stage designer and author of many publications on the theater. He was the son of the actress, Ellen Terry, and an architect who turned to theater design, Edward William Godwin.
Craig met the American dancer Isadora Duncan (1878-1927) in Berlin in 1904. Their love affair resulted in a daughter, Deidre, who was Duncan's first child and who was drowned accidently in Paris in 1913. The affair was over by 1907 but they continued to correspond. Craig kept “notes” on Duncan (whom he occasionally called “Topsy”) to which he continued to add all of his life.
Martin Fallas Shaw (1875-1958) was an English composer and director of music. He founded, with Craig, and conducted the Purcell Operatic Society in 1899. He toured as music director for Duncan in Germany, Holland, Denmark and Sweden in 1906-1908.
From the guide to the Edward Gordon Craig papers relating to Isadora Duncan, 1905-ca. 1952, (The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.)
Donald Mitchell Oenslager, an American stage designer and professor, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on 7 March 1902. Oenslager began his career in the theater as an actor, working at the Greenwich Village Theatre and the Provincetown Playhouse during the early 1920s. He became interested in theater design after studying in Europe and his first project as a designer was in 1925 for a ballet, Sooner or Later . Oenslager was active as a designer through the 1960s, working on many notable Broadway productions, including Of Mice and Men (1937) and A Majority of One (1959), for which he received a Tony Award. He also served as a faculty member of the Yale School of Drama, teaching design from 1925 until his death in 1975 and publishing many works, including, Scenery Then and Now (1936) and Notes on Scene Painting (1952). Profoundly influenced by the European stage designers, Edward Gordon Craig and Adolphe Appia, Oenslager brought a new emphasis on symbolism over realism to American theater design. Throughout his life, Oenslager built up an extensive collection of materials on both Craig and Appia. Following his death on 11 June 1975, Oenslager’s widow, Mary, gave portions of the Craig material to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Billy Rose Theatre Division, while other parts of the collection went to Yale University.
Edward Gordon Craig, the object of Oenslager's collecting efforts and study, was an actor, artist, theater designer and director. Craig was born in Stevenage, England on 16 January 1872, the second of two children produced from the liaison between the actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward William Godwin. He was baptized Edward Henry Gordon at the age of sixteen (taking the names of his godparents, Henry Irving and Lady Gordon) and added the surname Craig at the age of twenty-one. Exposed to the theater from an early age, Craig had made his stage debut by the age of six. After completing his studies in 1889, Craig became a member of Henry Irving's company at the Lyceum Theatre.
Although Craig received strong critical praise for his acting, he soon retreated from this promising career. In 1893, Craig married May Gibson, an actress, and moved from London to Uxbridge, where he met the artists James Ferrier Pryde and William Nicholson. From them he learned various techniques of printmaking and developed an enthusiasm for wood engraving in particular. His new interest in graphic design was soon coupled with the chance to direct a production of Alfred de Musset's On ne badine pas avec l'amour (1893), for which he also created the designs. In 1898, Craig started a magazine, The Page, which was filled almost entirely with his own work. By the end of 1899 he had engraved nearly 200 blocks and published a book, Gordon Craig's Book of Penny Toys .
During this period, Craig continued to develop as a stage designer and director. He worked with the musician, Martin Shaw, on a production of Dido and Aeneas in 1900 that was groundbreaking in its approach to stage design. The limitations of the space (the Hampstead Conservatoire) enabled Craig to depart from the elaborate, realist traditions of Victorian stagecraft. Craig’s innovations in lighting and design were admired by critics and radical artists, but often proved impractical to mount in the conservative climate of the English commercial theater. In 1904, Craig moved to Berlin for greater opportunities and designed a production of Venice Preserv’d for the Lessing Theatre in 1905. In that same year he produced a significant essay, The Art of the Theatre, which he later reworked as On the Art of the Theatre (1911). Perhaps most importantly, it was in Germany that he met the American dancer, Isadora Duncan. Although their affair was relatively brief in duration, Duncan was to be a major influence on Craig. The two shared a belief in a theater in which all of the arts were united. They collaborated on a book and had two children during the short time that they were together, but the affair was over by 1907 and Craig moved to Florence with his former lover, Elena Fortuna Meo, and established his own theatrical publication, The Mask (1908-1929). It was his association with Duncan, however, that earned Craig an invitation from Konstantin Stanislavsky to design a production of Hamlet for the Moscow Art Theatre in 1912. Following that success, Craig returned to Florence and opened his own School for the Art of the Theatre at the Arena Goldoni, which operated until the outbreak of the First World War.
Craig continued to live in Italy following the war, having moved to Rapallo with Elena Meo and their children in 1917, but he began to shift away from practice into theory, focusing more of his attention on his writings and wood engravings. By the late 1920s, Craig had executed what would be his final stage designs, a Danish production of Ibsen’s The Pretenders (1926) and a New York production of Macbeth (1928). He left Elena Meo again in the early 1930s and moved to France with his secretary, Daphne Woodward, and their child. Among his wood engravings, Craig’s work on the 1929 edition of Hamlet for the Cranach Press is often viewed as one of his greatest accomplishments. Following the end of World War II, Craig settled in the small town of Vence in the south of France, where he completed an autobiography, Index to the Story of My Days (1957) and was visited frequently by his admirers. Craig died in Vence on 29 August 1966.
- Hamilton, James. “Craig, (Edward Henry) Gordon,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Accessed 20 Jan. 2005), http://www.oxforddnb.com
- Owen, Bobbi. “Donald Oenslager.” Scenic Design on Broadway: Designers and their credits, 1915-1990. Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 1991, 136-7.
- Owen, Bobbi. “Gordon Craig.” Scenic Design on Broadway: Designers and their credits, 1915-1990. Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 1991, 45.
- Rawdon, Kathryn. Donald Oenslager Collection of Edward Gordon Craig: Gen MSS 424 (accessed 20 January 2005), http://webtext.library.yale.edu/xml2html/beinecke.OENCRAIG.con.html#a8
From the guide to the Donald Oenslager collection of Edward Gordon Craig, 1898-1967, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)
Edward Gordon Craig was born in England on 16 January 1872, the son of the actress Ellen Terry and the architect E. W. (Edward William) Godwin. In 1878, at the age of six, he made his first stage appearance in a production of Olivia, by W. G. Wills. He studied at Southfield Park and Bradfield College, and was a member of Henry Irving's theater company at the Lyceum Theatre in London beginning in 1889.
In 1893, Craig married May Gibson, and moved from London to Uxbridge. Under the influence of the artists James Ferrier Pryde and William Nicholson, he learned the art of wood-engraving, and began his career as a graphic designer. In 1893 he directed and designed his first stage production: Alfred de Musset's On ne badine pas avec l'amour . Around this time he also published a magazine, The Page, consisting mostly of his own engravings, and in 1899 published a book of woodcuts with accompanying verses entitled Gordon Craig's Book of Penny Toys .
Craig's career as a stage designer continued to evolve as he collaborated with Martin Shaw in 1901 and 1902 productions of Dido and Aeneas, The Mask of Love and other plays. In 1904 Craig traveled to Berlin to work with the Lessing Theatre, and in 1905 he published his most famous essay, The Art of the Theatre, which was later expanded and republished as On the Art of the Theatre . In Germany he met the dancer Isadora Duncan, with whom he had a brief but intense affair, ending in 1906. Duncan persuaded the theater producer Konstantin Stanislavsky to invite Craig to Moscow, and there he designed an important 1912 production of Hamlet . In 1913, Craig fulfilled a longtime dream by founding his School for the Art of the Theatre in the Arena Goldoni in Florence; however, it closed shortly thereafter at the outbreak of World War I.
Over his long career Craig became known as an important innovator in theater design, popularizing a modern, minimalist style in contrast to the more extravagant style of his mother's age, and his writings, artwork and design had an enormous impact on twentieth-century theater. His publications include the theatrical periodical The Mask (1908-1929), and the books Books and Theatres (1925), Ellen Terry and Her Secret Self (1931), Nothing, or, the Bookplate (1924), The Theatre - Advancing (1919) and his autobiography, Index to the Story of My Days (1957). He spent the last years of his life in the south of France, and died there in 1966.
From the guide to the Edward Gordon Craig collection, 1905-1963, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)