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For Immediate Release

September 15, 2011

Shakespeare to Sondheim

Scale models (maquettes), costume designs, drawings, and more

from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts


September 7 to December 18, 2011


Sunday in the Park with George

Tony Straiges, Maquette for Boys Bathing Unit in Sunday in the Park with George,1984. Musical with lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine.

San Antonio, TX. - Mythic Greek gods and heroines, remorseless Elizabethan villains, Romantic ballets with tragic lovers, and Broadway's most sophisticated musicals engage visitors in this fall's exhibition from the McNay's extensive theatre holdings in the Tobin Collection.


Rich in scene designs, Shakespeare to Sondheim includes scale models (maquettes) of the Trojan horse from Hector Berlioz's opera Les Troyens, complete with trap door for the invading Greeks; and the throne room from William Shakespeare's Richard III, outlined with red evoking the king's bloody rise to power. Center stage are costume designs including Ivan Bilibin's exquisite watercolor of Odette in Swan Lake and Ann Hould-Ward's graphite drawings for Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, inspired by Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat. As always, the installation contains audio, Internet, and video stations with music and performance clips.


Houston Ballet

Ballet: Swan Lake. Choreographer: Stanton Welch. Dancer(s): Artists of Houston Ballet. Photograph: Amitava Sarkar.



This exhibition was organized by the McNay Art Museum and is a program of The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.


The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts


The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, includes close to 9,500 objects, it emphasizes scene and costume designs for European and American theatre from the 16th century to the present. Highlights include Baroque festivals, Shakespeare plays, the Ballets Russes, Broadway musicals, and contemporary operas. The Tobin Collection includes the work of path-breaking designers from Edward Gordon Craig and Robert Edmond Jones to Ming Cho Lee and Ralph Koltai, as well as by artists in the theatre including Pablo Picasso, Natalia Gontcharova, Robert Indiana, and David Hockney.

Both the print and theatre collections are complemented by an extensive collection of more than 2,000 rare books. Primarily focused on the history of costume and stage design, the collection ranges from Baroque festival books commemorating royal European celebrations to rare volumes on bookmaking, the science of perspective, and books by artists on book illustrating. Noteworthy volumes are one of three known copies of Serlio's treatise, De Architectura; the complete works of Chaucer printed by the Pre-Raphaelite artist William Morris; and Klange, illustrated by Wassily Kandinsky.


To bring the designs to life, the McNay is borrowing actual costumes including armor worn by Placido Domingo as Aeneas in Les Troyens (Metropolitan Opera), cloak and crown of the hunch-backed Richard III (Chicago Shakespeare), tutus and headdresses for Odile and Swan Maidens (Houston Ballet, shown here), and plumed gown from "Losing My Mind" in Sondheim's Follies (Paper Mill Playhouse).



The McNay

Built by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay in the 1920s, the Spanish Colonial Revival-style residence opened as Texas's first museum of modern art in 1954. Today more than 100,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  In June 2008, the museum opened the 45,000-square-foot Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier. Nearly doubling the McNay's exhibition space, the Stieren Center includes three separate outdoor sculpture galleries.


Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm;

Thursday, 10 am-9 pm;

Saturday, 10 am-5 pm;

Sunday, noon-5 pm.

The McNay is closed on Mondays, New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


General Admission

This exhibtion is included in the general admission ticket price.


McNay members, free; Children 12 and under, free; Adults, $8; Students 12 and under, $5;

Seniors (65+),  $5; Active Military, $5. 

An extra admission charge of $5 applies during special exhibitions. There is no charge for general admission on Thursday nights and on the first Sunday of the month. At these times, the extra admission charge applies only for entrance to the special exhibition.



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