Kim Edgar Swados collection

Kim Edgar Swados collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Library
Creator: Swados, Kim Edgar, 1920-
Title: Kim Edgar Swados collection
Dates: 1940-1989
Quantity: 3.5 Linear feet 1 document box, 31 oversized folders
Coll. Number: ms2559

Biographical/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 Note

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.

Index Terms

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

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.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

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

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)
5Studies of set location exteriors and interiors (25)
6-7Sketches of set renderings, exteriors and interiors
OS Folder
1CSketches of set renderings, exteriors and interiors
Theater display poster
Original working drawings - pencil on tracing paper (17)
Press reviews, advertisements, program for private invitational screening

The Automobile Graveyard by Arrabel, 1961

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

The Blacks by Jean Genet, 1961-1971

American premiere at St. Mark's Playhouse, New York City, 1961
OS Folder
3APencil sketch on vellum
Sketches - pencil, red crayon on vellum (3)
Photographs of the set - b/w
Press, 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
OS Folder
4BOriginal set of blueprints
Assorted plans, elevations, roughs, studies
Original theater posters (2)

Bullfight by Leslie Stevens

Theatre DeLys, N.Y.C.-Premiere Of The Play
OS Folder
5BPencil backdrop studies on tracing paper (Four) ( 9" x 12" )
Pencil rough studies for backdrop on tracing paper (7) ( 9" x 12" )
Color crayon roughs on bond paper (4) ( 9" x 12" )
Complete set blueprints ((16)) ( 21" x 24" )
Complete set final tracing plans ((11)) ( 21" x 24" )
Original poster & flyers
OS Folder
6BHouse and Bullring- colored ink sketch on plate bristol (One) ( 8" x 10" )
Fiesta- colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 8" x 10" )
Chapel- colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 8" x 10" )
Bullring colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 5" x 9" )
Cock fight- colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 5" x 11" )
Figures in the house- colored ink sketch on bristol (One) ( 5" x 9" )
Collage made from photographs of the sets (Eleven) ( 5" x 7" )
112Photographs of the set - color and b/w
13Playbills, script notes & schedules, general lighting and scene notes

Cardinal Mindszenty starring Claude Dauphin

Studio One - CBS-TV
OS Folder
7BProduction sketches - b/w
Complete painter color elevations for entire production
115Assorted production photographs - color, b/w
15Script with staging notes

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs by William Inge

Group Repertory Theatre - Burbank, California
OS Folder
8AColor renderings - maquettes of set
Preliminary rough sketches
OS Folder
9BFinal working drawings - plan and elevation
Abstract drawings
Sketch of trees - photographic negative
116Sketches for title logo
16Group Repertory Theatre playbill, 1981
16Personal notes, 1987

Deirdre of the Sorrows by J.M. Synge

The Gate Theatre, N.Y.C.
OS Folder
10AComplete set of final working drawings
117Pencil studies of set pieces on tracing paper
17Color negatives
17Color print of sets & house curtain
17Final color renderings of each set, house curtain & floor painting-tempera & wash on illustration board
18Playbills, flyers, press reviews; lighting, directing and production notes

East of Eden

OS Folder
11BDesign plans; color renderings on tracing paper and graph paper
OS Folder
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
OS Folder
13BPencil studies
Colored ink wash studies
OS Folder
14CFull-size original working drawings
Unidentified drawings, sketches, blueprint
119Press reviews, photograph

Eugene Berman exhibition

OS Folder
15APhoto posters of exhibition - posters

Judith by Jean Giraudoux

The A.P.A. Repertory Co., Lyceum Theatre, New York City - premier
OS Folder
16BReproductions of preliminary interiors of sets, on sepia paper
Preliminary blueprint roughs of Acts I & II
Complete set of working drawings, on tracing paper
One complete set of final working drawings, blueprints
Finished sepia reproduction of house interior
Finished sepia reproduction of Holofernes interior
Final color sketch - ink & tempura

Mae West

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

Man and Superman

OS Folder
20BSet plans, design details
Original set of plans and designs


OS Folder
21BProduction posters

Purlie Victorious by Ossie Davis

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

Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco

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

Shadow of Heroes by Robert Ardrey

York Theatre, N.Y.C.-Premiere of Play
OS Folder
24BColor sketches - ink and tempera
Elevation sketches, studies - pencil
Cover page of New York Times drama section
Sketches - India ink, ink and shellac
122Photograph of the cast and set - black and white
22Playbill, 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"
OS Folder
25CRenderings of sets
Finished working drawings and plans
Complete set of blueprints

A Streetcar Named Desire

OS Folder
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
OS Folder
27BSet rendering with ink overlay of a perspective grid- to be painted on scrim
OS Folder
28BColor set designs - Josef K. home
Set design - jigsaw board frame
124Set design - jigsaw puzzle pieces to fit the design frame
23Preliminary studies in ink and red wash, black nd white

Two Little Minks by Loring Mandel

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

Uncle Vanya

OS Folder
30BSet plans
OS Folder