3.5 Linear feet
(600 items in 1 document box, 8 oversized folders A, 19 oversized folders B, and 4 oversized folders C)
The collection mainly consists of theatrical and motion picture set designs of Kim Edgar Swados from ca. 1953-1964. The collection includes color or black and white sketches, pencil tracings, blueprints, photographs, negatives, playbills, printed material, and clippings documenting Swados' work in the New York theater and motion pictures.
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.