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Kim Edgar Swados collection

Kim Edgar Swados collection

Descriptive Summary

Title: Kim Edgar Swados collection
Creator: Swados, Kim Edgar, 1920-
Inclusive Dates: 1940-1989
Language(s): English
Extent: 3.5 Linear Feet 1 document box, 31 oversized folders
Collection Number: ms2559
Repository: Hargrett Library

Collection Description

Historical Note

Kim Edgar Swados (1920- ), theatrical set designer active in the 1950s-1960s avant garde theater movement, resident of New York City and Los Angeles, California.

Hailed by Robert Edmond Jones for his imaginative use of the entire stage, not simply the set, Swados possessed a powerful creative imagination which found its expression in the modern and experimental theatre. Not interested in realistic plays, Swados worked best in fashioning sets for the theatre of the subconscious and theatre of the avant garde. His sets for the unproduced Lincoln Kirstein production of Kafka's The Trial, for example, were powerful metaphors which communicated the anxiety and terror of modern man's inability to deal with the forces around him. Overall, Swados' work shows a great originality in relation to the themes of modern theatre.

While Swados worked in television and film, it was his theatre work which allowed him to find full expression of his creative imagination. This collection consists of all of his extant theatrical sets, with the others given away or discarded after the production. It makes a very useful and important research collection for the student of modern theatre and set design.

Scope and Content

The collection contains theatrical and motion picture set designs. Included are color and black and white sketches, pencil tracings, blueprints, photographs, negatives, playbills, printed material, and clippings documenting Mr. Swados' work in the New York theater and in motion pictures.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Kim Edgar Swados collection, ms2559, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared on: 2010 March 22.

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Experimental theater -- New York (State) -- New York.
Motion pictures -- United States.
Set designers -- New York (State) -- New York.
Theaters -- Stage-setting and scenery.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


The Amityville Horror by Sandor Stern

Produced by: American Int'l Pictures & Saland/Geissinger Starring: Rod Steiger, James Brolin & Margot Kidder
11-4Assorted location stills for design and filming (40)
15Studies of set location exteriors and interiors (25)
16-7Sketches of set renderings, exteriors and interiors
1CSketches of set renderings, exteriors and interiors
1CTheater display poster
1COriginal working drawings - pencil on tracing paper (17)
1CPress reviews, advertisements, program for private invitational screening

The Automobile Graveyard by Arrabel

The Forty-First St. Theatre, New York City - American Premiere
2BColor collages of the cars (3)
2BColor rendering of the set
18Rendering of all cars - tempera and watercolor, 1961
2BRendering of all cars - Ink and sepia wash
2BComplete set of 15 working drawings (2)
2BComplete set of 12 blueprints
2BProduction proof photographs (132)
19Black & white glossy production photographs (7)
2BBlack & white proofs of The Rolls Royce (2)
110Playbill, general production notes

The Blacks by Jean Genet

American premiere at St. Mark's Playhouse, New York City, 1961
3APencil sketch on vellum
3ASketches - pencil, red crayon on vellum (3)
3APhotographs of the set - b/w
3APress, reviews, magazine articles, 1961
Harold Clurman-The New Republic, Cue Magazine, Max Lerner-The New York Post, Norman Mailer-The Village Voice, James Baldwin-The Village Voice, The New Yorker, Howard Taubman-New York Times, Walter Kerr-New York Times, Bernard Fechtman-New York Times
111Negatives, showbill, correspondence
4BOriginal set of blueprints
4BAssorted plans, elevations, roughs, studies
4BOriginal theater posters (2)

Bullfight by Leslie Stevens

Theatre DeLys, N.Y.C.-Premiere Of The Play
5BPencil backdrop studies on tracing paper (Four) ( 9" x 12" )
5BPencil rough studies for backdrop on tracing paper (7) ( 9" x 12" )
5BColor crayon roughs on bond paper (4) ( 9" x 12" )
5BComplete set blueprints ((16)) ( 21" x 24" )
5BComplete set final tracing plans ((11)) ( 21" x 24" )
5BOriginal poster & flyers
6BHouse and Bullring- colored ink sketch on plate bristol (One) ( 8" x 10" )
6BFiesta- colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 8" x 10" )
6BChapel- colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 8" x 10" )
6BBullring colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 5" x 9" )
6BCock fight- colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 5" x 11" )
6BFigures in the house- colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 5" x 9" )
6BCollage made from photographs of the sets (Eleven) ( 5" x 7" )
112Photographs of the set - color and b/w
113Playbills, script notes & schedules, general lighting and scene notes

Cardinal Mindszenty starring Claude Dauphin

Studio One - CBS-TV
7BProduction sketches - b/w
7BComplete painter color elevations for entire production
115Assorted production photographs - color, b/w
115Script with staging notes

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs by William Inge

Group Repertory Theatre - Burbank, California
8AColor renderings - maquettes of set
8APreliminary rough sketches
9BFinal working drawings - plan and elevation
9BAbstract drawings
9BSketch of trees - photographic negative
116Sketches for title logo
116Group Repertory Theatre playbill, 1981
116Personal notes, 1987

Deirdre of the Sorrows by J.M. Synge

The Gate Theatre, N.Y.C.
10AComplete set of final working drawings
117Pencil studies of set pieces on tracing paper
117Color negatives
117Color print of sets & house curtain
117Final color renderings of each set, house curtain & floor painting-tempera & wash on illustration board
118Playbills, flyers, press reviews; lighting, directing and production notes

East of Eden

11BDesign plans; color renderings on tracing paper and graph paper
12CMaster set of design plans

Emperor Jones - Dance Drama

Adapted from the O'Neill Play by Jose Limon; Original Score Commissioned & Written by Hector Villa-Lobos
The New York Ctiy Center-World Premiere
13BPencil studies
13BColored ink wash studies
14CFull-size original working drawings
14CUnidentified drawings, sketches, blueprint
119Press reviews, photograph

Eugene Berman exhibition

15APhoto posters of exhibition - posters

Judith by Jean Giraudoux

The A.P.A. Repertory Co., Lyceum Theatre, New York City - premier
16BReproductions of preliminary interiors of sets, on sepia paper
16BPreliminary blueprint roughs of Acts I & II
16BComplete set of working drawings, on tracing paper
16BOne complete set of final working drawings, blueprints
16BFinished sepia reproduction of house interior
16BFinished sepia reproduction of Holofernes interior
16BFinal color sketch - ink & tempura

Mae West

17BPlans, elevations, designs, sketches
18AColor renderings, pen and ink rough sketches of scenes
19AColor renderings, pen and ink rough sketches of scenes
120Color renderings, marker sketches, press article, 1982

Man and Superman

20BSet plans, design details
20BOriginal set of plans and designs


21BProduction posters

Purlie Victorious by Ossie Davis

Produced by: Webster/Hammer Productions, Inc.
Starring: Ossie Davis, Alan Alda, Ruby Dee and Godfrey Cambridge
22BPencil renderings of each set
22BWorking drawings of entire film
22BComplete set of blueprints
121Photographs - black and white production stills

Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco

Westport Country Playhouse; Westport, Connecticut Try-Out for a National Tour
23BColor sketch in ink, tempera
23BComplete working drawings - roughs, elevations, studies of interiors
23BPhotographs of Acts I, II, III - black and white

Shadow of Heroes by Robert Ardrey

York Theatre, N.Y.C.-Premiere of Play
24BColor sketches - ink and tempera
24BElevation sketches, studies - pencil
24BCover page of New York Times drama section
24BSketches - India ink, ink and shellac
122Photograph of the cast and set - black and white
122Playbill, cast list, newspaper advertisement

The Stingiest Man in Town - musical adaptation of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"

A 2-Hour Holiday Special for NBC-TV starring Basil Rathbone as "Scrooge"
25CRenderings of sets
25CFinished working drawings and plans
25CComplete set of blueprints

A Streetcar Named Desire

26AProduction sketches of characters

The Trial by Andre Gide - adapted from the novel by Franz Kafka

Lincoln Kirstein, Otto Preminger and Jean Rosenthal - N.Y. City Center
27BSet rendering with ink overlay of a perspective grid- to be painted on scrim
28BColor set designs - Josef K. home
28BSet design - jigsaw board frame
124Set design - jigsaw puzzle pieces to fit the design frame
123Preliminary studies in ink and red wash, black nd white

Two Little Minks by Loring Mandel

"Studio One"; CBS-TV
29 BSepia sketches of each set
29 BComplete set of blueprints
29 BPhotographs of the sets - black and white
125Photographs of the sets - black and white, color

Uncle Vanya

30BSet plans