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Finding Aid for the Edward Gordon Craig Papers, 1883-1966
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • List of Subject Entries
  • List of Added Entries
  • Gordon Craig--Black Figures
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Edward Gordon Craig Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1883-1966
    Collection number: 1006
    Creator: Craig, Edward Gordon, 1872-1966
    Extent: 15 boxes (7.5 linear ft.) 3 cartons (3 linear ft.) 16 oversize boxes
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: Edward Henry Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was a member of the Lyceum, London, where he received training as an actor and began his career in stage design and production (1889-95). He was appointed Royal Designer for Industry of the Royal College of Art (1938), made a Companion of Honour (1958) and was appointed president of the Mermaid Theatre, London (1964). The collection consists of materials related to Craig's career as an English stage designer and producer.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    B.F. Stevens & Brown, Limited, purchase, 1960.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Edward Gordon Craig Papers (Collection 1006). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 964557 


    Edward Henry Gordon Craig was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, January 16, 1872; son of Ellen Terry, a Shakespearean actress, and Edward William Godwin, and brother of Edith Craig, a theatrical producer and director; attended Southfield Park School in Tunbridge Wells, Bradfield College, and Heidelberg College in Germany; married and later divorced from actress May Gibson; member of the Lyceum, London, where he received training as an actor and began his career in stage design and production, 1889-95; involved in productions such as Acis and Galatea (1902), The Vikings at Helgeland (1903), and Much Ado About Nothing (1903); publications include: The Art of the Theatre (1905), On the Art of Theatre (1911), Scene (1923), Woodcuts and Some Words (1924) and a partial biography titled, Index to the Story of My Days (1957); magazine publications include: The Page (1898-1901) and The Mask (1908-29); appointed Royal Designer for Industry of the Royal College of Art, 1938; made a Companion of Honour, 1958; president of the Mermaid Theatre, London (1964); died July 29, 1966 in Vence, France.


    January 16, 1872 Edward Henry Gordon Craig born at Stevenage, Hertsfordshire, England. Son of Ellen Terry and Edward William Godwin.
    1883-1886 Southfield Park School, Tunbridge Wells
    1884-1885 Visits United States on tour with Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. Makes first speaking appearance on stage in Eugene Aram.
    1886-1887 Bradfield College.
    1887-1888 Heidelberg College, Heidelberg.
    1888-1889 Southfield Park School, Tunbridge Wells, as a private student.
    1889-1892 At the Lyceum, London, under the direction of Henry Irving; provincial tours.
    1893 At the Lyceum. Met James Pryde and William Nicholson (the Beggarstaff artists) and began wood carving; at Uxbridge does his first stage production, de Musset's On ne badine pas avec l'amour.
    1894 Provincial tours.
    1895 Leaves the Lyceum; provincial tours.
    1896 Prepares productions of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet with his own company at the Parkhurst Theatre.
    1897 Meets Martin Shaw, the English composer and conductor.
    1898 Begins publishing The Page, which ran until 1901.
    1899 Publishes Gordon Craig's Book of Penny Toys.
    1900 Publishes Bookplates, a booklet. Presents Dido and Aeneas with Martin Shaw and the Purcell Operatic Society in May. Designs and prints a program for the production.
    1901 Presents Dido and Aeneas and The Masque of Love in London with Martin Shaw.
    1902 Presents Acis and Galatea and The Masque of Love in London. Publishes souvenir program illustrated by his woodcuts for the performance. Designs settings for Bethlehem for Laurence Housman.
    1903 Publishes prospectus for The Harvest Home. Designs sets for Fred Terry's production of Sword and Song and enters theatrical management with Ellen Terry and Edith Craig (Edward Gordon Craig's sister) in production of Ibsen's The Vikings and Much Ado about Nothing. Elected a member of the Society of Twelve, London.
    1904 Draws up prospectus for a School of the Theatre. Designs scenes for the Lessing Theater's production of Venice Preserved, in Berlin and meets Isadora Duncan.
    1905 Publishes The Art of the Theatre. Develops theory of the über-marionnette.
    1906 Publishes Isadora Duncan - Six Movement Designs in Germany. Meets Eleonora Duse in Berlin and designs sets for Rosmersholm for her.
    1907 Settles in Florence. The White Fan by Hofmannstal published with woodcut illustrations by Craig. Development of black figures and moveable screens for stage settings.
    1908 Begins publishing The Mask in Florence as forum for theatre criticism; publishes A Portfolio of Etchings. Travels to Moscow to discuss Stanislavsky's production of Hamlet.'
    1910 Travels to Moscow.
    1911 Publishes On the Art of the Theatre. W.B. Yeats uses Craig's new screens in sets for his plays at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Honored by dinner in London on July 16. In Moscow for the presentation of Hamlet by Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre, December.
    1913 Announces financial support for his School for the Art of the Theatre. Publishes A Living Theatre from Florence.
    1914-1916 School closes due to war and lack of funds; suspends publication of The Mask, writes marionette plays.
    1917 Moves to the Villa Raggio, Rapallo, Italy.
    1918 Republishes The Mask in April. Publishes The Marionette, one vol. only.
    1919 Suspends publication of The Mask. The Theatre Advancing is published in Boston.
    1922 Invited to open the International Exhibition of Theatre Art and Craft at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Exhibit travels to London and Manchester.
    1923 Publishes Scene.
    1924 Publishes Woodcuts and Some Words, and Nothing, or the Bookplate.
    1925 Publishes Books and Theatres.
    1926 Designs production of Ibsen's The Crown Pretenders at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen for Adam and Johannes Poulsen.
    1930 English edition of the Cranach Press Hamlet with Craig's prints is published. In A Production-1926, Craig's illustrations for The Crown Pretenders are published. Also published the biography, Henry Irving.
    1931 Publishes the biography, Ellen Terry and her Secret Self.
    1934 Invited to Volta Conference in Rome by Pirandello and Marconi; meets Marinetti, Maeterlinck, and Gropius.
    1935 Visits Moscow and meets Brecht, Litvanov and Eisenstein.
    1938 Appointed a Royal Designer for Industry.
    1940 Taken to Stalag 142, Besançon, as a British citizen living in occupied Paris.
    1957 Publishes his partial autobiography, Index to the Story of my Days.
    1958 Made a Companion of Honour.
    1962 Issuing of radio talks made for the BBC 1951-1957 as three discs, London. Eight Wood Engravings for Hamlet privately printed.
    1966 Dies in Vence, France.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of materials related to Craig's career as an English stage designer and producer. Includes correspondence, manuscripts, books owned and annotated by Craig, articles by or referring to Craig, photographs, designs, and ephemera.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Craig, Edward Gordon, 1872-1966--Archives.
    Theatrical producers and directors--England--Archival resources.
    Set designers--England--Archival resources.

    List of Subject Entries

    Actors and actresses--Portraits.
    Appia, Adolphe, 1862-1928.
    Bernhardt, Sarah, 1844-1923.
    Book-plates, English.
    Browning, Robert, 1812-1889.
    A blot on the scutcheon.
    Craig, Edith, 1869-1947.
    Duncan, Isadora, 1878-1927.
    Duncan, Isadora, 1878-1927--portrait.
    Duse, Elenora, 1852-1924.
    Eisenstein, Sergei Michailovich, 1898-1948.
    English drama--addresses, essays, lectures.
    English drama--20th century.
    Fraser, Claud Lovat, 1890-1929--portrait.
    Garrick, David, 1717-1779.
    Katherine and Petruchio.
    Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906.
    Land from the sea.
    Peer Gynt.
    Irving, Sir Henry, 1838-1905.
    Irving, Sir Henry, 1838-1905--Portrait.
    Irving, Laurence Sydney Brodribb, 1871-1914--Portrait.
    Kean, Edmund, 1787-1833.
    The Marionette. Florence.
    The Mask. Florence.
    Moscow Art Theatre. Moscow.
    Puppets and puppet plays--specimens.
    Purcell, Henry, 1658 or 9-1695.
    Dido and Aeneas. p. 29
    The school for the art of the theatre. Florence--views.
    Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
    Hamlet. Macbeth.
    The Merchant Of Venice.
    Much Ado About Nothing.
    A Midsummer Night's Dream.
    Shaw, George Bernard, 1856-1950.
    Shaw, George Bernard, 1856-1950.
    Caesar and Cleopatra.
    Stage lighting.
    Terry, Dame Ellen, 1847-1928.
    Terry, Dame Ellen, 1847-1928--portrait.
    Theater collections.
    Theater--Great Britain.
    Theater--productions and direction.
    Theater programs.
    Theater--prompt books.
    Theaters--stage setting and secenery.
    Theaters--stage setting and scenery--views.
    Toy theaters--specimens.
    Tree, Sir Herbert Beerbohm, 1853-1917.
    Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892--Portrait.

    List of Added Entries

    Bernhardt, Sarah, 1844-1923.
    Craig, Edith, 1869-1947.
    Craig, Edward Anthony, 1904- .
    The crown pretenders.
    de Walden, Lord Howard.
    Greet, Sir Ben, 1857-1936.
    Housman, Laurence, 1865-1959.
    Irving, Sir Henry, 1838-1905.
    St. John, Christopher Marie (pseudonym).
    Terry, Dame Ellen, 1847-1928.
    Shaw, Martin Fallas, 1875-1958.

    Gordon Craig--Black Figures

    1. Actor G92, E86.
    2. Stage Manager G86, E82.
    3. Ophelia.
    4. Ophelia Mad G136, E124.
    5. Bird Dancer.
    6. Ghost with Crown G17, E17.
    7. Ghost with Bone G115, E110.
    8. Hamlet & Daemon (Large).
    9. Hamlet & Daemon (Small) G77, E70.
    10. Hamlet with Skull G154, E150.
    11. Laertes G160, E156.
    12. Queen G134, E123.
    13. A Lord (Guildenstern) G170, E162.
    14. Seated Figure (Large).
    14C. Seated Figure (Small).
    15. King Claudius G122, E114.
    16. Actor (3/4 length)--two blocks: second E64.
    17. Polonius G24, E24.
    18. Osric G168, E160.
    19. Yorick G155, E151.
    20. Gravediggers.
    21. Candlebearer 1.
    22. Candlebearer 2.
    23. Candlebearer 3.
    24. Candlebearer 4.
    25. Doubt G162, E74.
    26. Soldiers seated G10, E10.
    27. Ghost in flames G11, E11.
    28. Courtier.
    29. Courtier.
    30. Hamlet with curtain G21, E21.
    31. Hamlet/Horatio profile.
    32. Mask for Queen.
    33. Soldier with Shield (Large) G9, E9.
    34. Soldier with Shield (Small) G140.
    Block 2 E128.
    35. Fencer A:. Block 1, Block 2, Block 3 G175, E167.
    36. Fencer B:. Block 1, Block 2 G175, E167, Block 3.
    37. Hamlet & King Claudius G109, E102.
    38. S.1 & S.3 Black Girl.
    39. Girl with Stick.
    40. Shylock.
    41. Antonio.
    42. Bassanio.
    43. Lorenzo.
    44. Lawyer.
    45. Young Gobbo.
    46. Old Gobbo.
    47. Lady in Waiting.
    48. Three Witches.
    49. Running Figure.
    50. The Jewess.
    51. Cuchulain.
    52. Priestess.
    53. Group of Four Men.
    54. Mask.
    55. Mask.
    56. Rosencrantz.
    57. Guildenstern.
    58. Iphigenia.
    59. Mourners.
    60. The Jew.
    61B. Beauty.
    62. The Beast.
    63. Group of Eight Men.
    64. Moses.
    65. Lust.
    66. Dancing Girl.
    67. Hunger.
    68. Girl with Ball.
    69. Susanna.
    70. First Elder.
    71. Second Elder.
    72. Hecuba.
    73. Ophelia with Willow.
    74. Roman Actor.
    75. Electra.
    76. Roman Actor.
    77. Roman Actor.
    78A. Roman Actor, Block 1.
    78B. Roman Actor, Block 2.
    79. The Scrivener.
    80. The Priest.
    81. Worshipper.
    82. Gravedigger (Second) G149, E144.
    82B. Gravedigger (First) G150, E146.
    83. Portia.
    84. Fear.
    85. Eve.
    86. Kultur, Culture, Cultura et cie.
    87. Self-Portrait.
    88. Thespis.
    89. Hamlet with Sword:. Block 1, Block 2 G111, E105.
    90. Shakespeare.

    Related Material

    Rudolph Holzapfel Collection of Edward Gordon Craig Material (Collection 1482)  . Available at the Department of Special Collections, UCLA.