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John Ezell Collection (MGHL00023)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

1/2" Scale Maquettes

1/4" Scale Maquettes

Framed Works, Shadowboxes and Lightboxes

Computer Renderings

Drawings, Paintings and Collages



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John Ezell Collection (MGHL00023), 1960-2011 | MGHL Dowd Modern Graphic History Library

By Modern Graphic History Library staff

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Collection Overview

Title: John Ezell Collection (MGHL00023), 1960-2011Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: MGHL/mghl00023

Primary Creator: John Ezell (1933-)

Extent: 72.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Items are arranged in series based on art medium and in subseries alphabetically by production.

The contents of the collection are currently arranged as follows:

Series 1: 1/2" Scale Maquettes

Series 2: 1/4" Scale Maquettes

Series 3: Framed Work, Shadowboxes and Lightboxes

Series 4: Computer Renderings

Series 5: Drawings, Paintings and Collages

Date Acquired: 12/00/2012. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Models (clay, plaster, etc.), Theater, Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection includes original artwork (paintings, collages, renderings and theatre maquettes) made by John Ezell dating between the 1960s and the present.

Collection Historical Note

John Ezell was born in St. Louis and spent much of his childhood peering at the scenery over the backstage fence of the Municipal Opera in Forest Park.  This strong attraction to the theatre led him to pursue a B.F.A. in Painting from Washington University in 1954 and an M.F.A. the Yale School of Drama in 1960.  His career began with a number of non-profit repertory theatres, Yale University Theatre, and public television and culminated with royal and state theatres in Europe and Asia, as well as several professorial appointments and New York on Broadway, designing the for George Abbott’s Broadway and the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Much Ado About Nothing and Love’s Labour’s Lost.

He designed for the Tony Award winning Crossroads Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse, Roundabout in New York, the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C., Shubert and Second City Theatres in Chicago, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Asolo State Theatre in Sarasota, the Coconut Grove in Miami, the Old Globe in San Diego, the Arizona Repertory Theatre, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, the Roger Stevens Theatre in Winston-Salem, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Missouri Repertory Theatre, the Dallas Theatre Center, the Kansas City Lyric Opera, the Pacific Conservatory Theatre, the Blackstone, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Stockholm’s Riksteatern and Cullberg Ballet, Swedish State Television, CBS and PBS, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Berkshire Festival, the Great Lakes Theatre Festival and the International Theatre Olympics in Istanbul.

His work on The Dreamer received the award for American Experimental Television Art at the International Non-Commercial Television Festival in Milan.  He was the art director and designer of the Emmy Award winning production of The Playboy of the Western World, which received the Corporation for Public Broadcast Board of Directors’ Award for Excellence in prime time drama.  He received eleven Critics’ Circle Awards and was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C..  He served as a consultant to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and for the design collection of the Federal Theatre Project at George Mason University.  His work was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York, the Wright Hepburn Webster Gallery in New York, the Astor Gallery of Lincoln Center, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Mandeville Center for the Arts in San Diego and the Prague Quadrennial International Exhibition of Contemporary Stage Design.

Mr. Ezell is a participant in an exchange of theatre artists with the Beijing Academy of Drama and the Art Theatre of the People’s Republic of China. In 1994, he adapted the charrette process, a system of artistic study utilized by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris during the 19th century, into his theatrical design classes, inspiring numerous scenic design programs to change their curriculums as well. He was a professor and Head of Design at the University of Wisconsin in Madison from 1965 – 1986 and is currently the Hall Family Foundation Professor of Design at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Mr. Ezell was recognized for his contributions to American Theatre on the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Yale School of Drama, and was the recipient of Washington University's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001. The retrospective exhibition Bold Strokes and Finesse; the Stage Designs of John Ezell, based upon his work, has been on show in museums and galleries across North America.

John Ezell’s designs are characterized by eclecticism, rigorous scholarship and respect for the intentions of the original text.  His methods are inspired by his mentors, Donald Oenslager and Frank Poole Bevan, as well as elements borrowed from the graphic arts industry.  His renderings and models incorporate a number of talents and media, including watercolor, gouache, collage, montage and composite photographic and electronic computer imagery.  John Ezell was one of the first American designers to use polystyrene and other thermoplastics extensively on stage.  He had an interest in experimental and unconventional materials.  His design for Oedipus Rex at the University of Wisconsin in 1972 was the first stage setting conceived and executed in polyurethane expandable foam; the International Theatre Institute in Brussels called in one of the ten most ‘significant American designs of the decade’.

John Ezell has had an immeasurable impact on the field of American scenic design.  He has spent his career designing for productions of the most significant and challenging work of major American dramatists, focusing on visual themes of regional character and meticulous idiosyncrasy. His students work for virtually every professional theatre and opera company in America.

Subject/Index Terms

Models (clay, plaster, etc.)
Theater
Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery

Administrative Information

Repository: MGHL Dowd Modern Graphic History Library

Accruals: There are no accurals.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions to access.

Use Restrictions:

Some restrictions, please contact the Modern Graphic History Library Curator at (314) 935-7741 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu.

Users of the collection must read and abide by the Rules for the use of Modern Graphic History Library materials.

Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of intent to publish Modern Graphic History Library materials form.

All publication not covered by fair use restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.

Acquisition Method: The collection was donated to the Modern Graphic History Library by John Ezell in December 2012.

Preferred Citation: John Ezell Collection, Washington University Libraries, Modern Graphic History Library, Department of Special Collections

Processing Information: The collection was processed by Fisher Ream in July 2015.

Finding Aid Revision History: This finding aid was entered ino Archon by Fisher Ream in July 2015.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: 1/2" Scale Maquettes],
[Series 2: 1/4" Scale Maquettes],
[Series 3: Framed Works, Shadowboxes and Lightboxes],
[Series 4: Computer Renderings],
[Series 5: Drawings, Paintings and Collages],
[All]

Series 2: 1/4" Scale MaquettesAdd to your cart.
Item 11: The Attic Turned-Sleeping-Quarters in a British Country House - the Last Night of Summer, 1909, Almost September, 1991Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette.  Almost September by David Schechter and Steve Lutvak, directed by David Schechter, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 1991.
Item 12: A Sacred Place in Ancient Thebes, The Bakkhai, 1995Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. The Bakkhai by Euripides, directed by Gerald Freedman, Great Lakes Theater Festival and the Tom Evert Dance Company, 1995.
Item 13: Charles Condomine's House in Kent in the Late 1930s, Blithe Spirit, 1996Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette.  Blihe Spirit by Noel Coward, directed by Victoria Bussert, Great Lakes Theater Festival, 1996.
Item 14: Backstage at the Paradise Night Club, New York City, 1926, Broadway, 1987Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Broadway by Phillip Dunning and George Abbott, directed by George Abbott, choreography by Donald Saddler, Royale Theatre - New York, 1987.
Item 15: The Loman House in New Jersey, Death of a Salesman, 1998Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, directed by Steven Woolf, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 1998
Item 16: The Living Room and the Dining Room of the Gordon House in a Small Texas Town, Dividing the Estate, 1990Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Dividing the Estate by Horton Foote, directed by Gerald Freedman, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Cleveland and the Roger Stevens Theatre, Winston Salem, 1990.
Item 17: A Medieval Village Ruled by a 400 Year-Old Dragon: A Cozy Kitchen and the Town Square, Dragons, 1988Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Dragons by Sheldon Harnick, directed by Brent Wagner, choreography by Timothy Millett, The University of Michigan School of Music, 1988.
Item 18: A Theatre in the English Provinces, January, 1942, The Dresser, 2004Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. The Dresser by Ronald Harwood, directed by Gerald Freedman, The Clarence Brown Theatre, 2004.
Item 19: Act III: End of the Sabbath Service, a Small, Dark Room with a Long Table Covered with a White Cloth, The Dybbuk, 1995Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. The Dybbuk by S. Anskey, directed by Gerald Freedman, choreography by Mauricio Wainrot, Great Lakes Theater Festival, 1995.
Item 20: The Living Room of a Famous American Architect, Edward Albee's The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, 1995Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Edward Albee's The Goat or Who is Sylvia? by S. Anskey, directed by Gerald Freedman, choreography by Mauricio Wainrot, Great Lakes Theater Festival, 1995.
Item 21: Two Hundred Years before the Christian Era, a Day in Spring, A Street in Rome in Front of the Houses of Erronius, Senex and Lycus, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 2005Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Stephen Sondheim, Bert Shevelove and Larry Gilbart, directed by Edward Stern, choreography by Janet Watson, The Cincinnati Playhouse and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 2005.
Item 22: Two Hundred Years before the Christian Era, a Day in Spring, A Street in Rome in Front of the Houses of Erronius, Senex and Lycus, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 2005Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Stephen Sondheim, Bert Shevelove and Larry Gilbart, directed by Edward Stern, choreography by Janet Watson, The Cincinnati Playhouse and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 2005.
Item 23: Gypsy, 2001-3Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Gypsy by Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne, directed by Victoria Bussert, choreography by Janet Watson, The Cincinnati Playhouse, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Great Lakes Theater Festival, 2001-3.
Item 24: Heartbreak House, 2007Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw, directed by John Going, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 2007.
Item 25: The Life of Galileo, 1995Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht translated by David Hare, directed by Steven Woolf, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 1995.
Item 26: Love Labour's Lost, 1989Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Love Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare, directed by Gerald Freedman, New York Shakespeare Festival, 1989.
Item 27: A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1994Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, directed by Gerald Freedman, Great Lakes Theater Festival, 1994
Item 28: The Miracle Worker, 2009Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson, directed by Susan Gregg, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 2009.
Item 29: A Connecticut Farmhouse, 1923, A Moon for the Misbegotten, 2002Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill, directed by James Bundy, Great Lakes Theater Festival, 2002.
Item 30: Othello, 1990Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Othello by William Shakespeare, directed by Harold Scott, Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger, 1990.
Item 31: A Nearly Vacant Apartment in Paris, Piaf: La Vie L'Amour, 1982 & 1993Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. PIAF: LA VIE L'AMOUR by Gay Marshall and Lane Bateman, directed by Vincent Dowling, Great Lakes Theater Festival and directed by Mary Guaraldi, Missouri Repertory Theatre, 1982 & 1993.
Item 32: The Attic of a Manhattan Brownstone, The Price, 1985Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
The Maquette. The Price by Arthur Miller, directed by Edward Stern, The Repertory Theatre  of St. Louis, 1985.
Item 33: Act II: A Salon on Board the SS Italian Castle, 1931, Rough Crossing, 1992Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Rough Crossing by Tom Stoppard, directed by Victoria Bussert, Great Lakes Theater Festival and directed by George Keathley, Missouri Repertory Theatre, 1992.
Item 34: A Small Shop in a Warehouse-and-Factory District of Brooklyn, 1962, Slowdance on the Killing Ground, 1992Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Slowdance on the Killing Ground by William Hanley, directed by Kenneth Johnson, Crossroads Theatre, 1992.
Item 35: A Dilapidated, Victorian-style Boathouse Near Lebanon, Missouri, 1944, Tally's Folly, 1981Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette, Tally's Folly by Lanford Wilson, directed by James Assad, Missouri Repertory Theatre, 1981.
Item 36: An Itinerant Acting Company in Elizabethan England, The Taming of the Shrew, 1998Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakspeare, directed by Bruce Longworth, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 1998
Item 37: The Club "Paradise Lost" and other Locals in and around New York City, Telltale Hearts, 1993Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Telltale Hearts by Joe Barnes, directed by A. Dean Irby, Crossroads Theatre, 1993.
Item 38: Act I: Southwood, England - 1969, a Magritte View of an English Garden, Travels with My Aunt, 2000Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene adapted by Giles Havegal, directed by James Bundy, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, 2000.
Item 39: Act II: Argentina, Travels with my Aunt, 2000Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene adapted by Giles Havegal, directed by James Bundy, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, 2000.
Item 40: The Serebryakov's Country Estate, 1904, Uncle Vanya, 1991Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov, directed by Gerald Freedman, Great Lakes Theater Festival, 1991.
Item 41: Susan's Garden, Scarborough, England, Woman in Mind, 1992Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Woman in Mind by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Susan Gregg, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 1992.
Item 42: A Series of Interconnected Contraptions Making No Sense Whatsoever, Young Rube, 1993.Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Maquette. Young Rube by John Pielmeier, directed by Susan Gregg, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, 1993

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: 1/2" Scale Maquettes],
[Series 2: 1/4" Scale Maquettes],
[Series 3: Framed Works, Shadowboxes and Lightboxes],
[Series 4: Computer Renderings],
[Series 5: Drawings, Paintings and Collages],
[All]


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