Alexandra Exter (1882–1949), Revue, pl. 10 from the set, Décors de théâtre (detail), 1930. Color pochoir, 10 1/8 x 12 1/16 in. (25.7 x 30.7 cm) (image), 12 15/16 x 19 13/16 in. (32.9 x 50.3 cm) (sheet). Theater and Dance Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nikita D. Lobanov, T&D1977.34 ©️ Exter-Lissim Archives. Photograph by Jorge Bachmann

Dress Rehearsal: The Art of Theatrical Design

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In celebration of the Legion’s 100th anniversary, this exhibition brings together a selection of our most outstanding costume and set designs through two intertwined stories — the history of theater and dance, and the founding of the Legion of Honor. Alma de Bretteville Spreckels (1881–1968), cofounder of the Legion, donated over 60 spectacular Russian theater and dance drawings, including exceptional designs for the Ballets Russes (1909–1929). Over the following decades, our collection of theater and dance material has grown to be one of the strongest in the United States. Moving from ballet’s roots in 15th-century Italy up to present day, the exhibition includes rarely shown drawings and designs by celebrated artists. From Ballets Russes designer Léon Bakst to avant-garde painters Natalia Goncharova, Pablo Picasso, and Marie Laurencin to contemporary artist Marcel Dzama, all of the artists on view turned their immense talent in the graphic arts to the stage.

Also on view