Motley costume designs 1936-1965

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Motley costume designs, 1936-1965

Motley costume designs 1936-1965

Motley is the corporate name of sisters Margaret Harris (1904-2000) and Sophie Harris (1900-1966), and Elizabeth Montgomery Wilmot (1902-1993), who designed sets and costumes for theatre, opera, ballet and motion pictures from 1932 to 1976 in England and the United States. Their first designs, for London productions by John Gielgud and Michel Saint-Denis, were very successful, and in 1936 Saint-Denis founded The London Theatre Studio (1936-1939), a radical new theatre school which incorporated courses in theatre design taught by the Motleys. In 1940, Margaret Harris and Elizabeth Montgomery went to New York and remained there until the end of World War II, designing for numerous productions on Broadway. In 1946, Margaret Harris returned to London, while Elizabeth stayed, married the writer and journalist Patrick Wilmot (1904-1960), and continued to design for plays, musicals, operas, and ballets in New York until 1966. Original color costume designs on paper, tracing paper, or board, possibly created by Elizabet (Montgomery) Wilmot, one of the three women who designed under the pseudonym Motley. Includes drawings for Miss Liberty (1949); Paint your wagon (1951); The tempest (1945); and Tovarich (1963), as well as designs for Laurence Olivier (Henry II) in Becket (1961); Richard Burton (Philip the Bastard) in King John (1953); and Michael Redgrave (Warbeck) in The witch of Edmonton (1936).

2 boxes (93 drawings)

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