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MS Thr 475

Léon, Victor, 1858-1940, collector. Victor Léon photograph collection, 1885-1940: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Thr 475
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Léon, Victor, 1858-1940, collector.
Title: Victor Léon photograph collection,
Date(s): 1885-1940.
Quantity: 1 collection (15 linear feet (23 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in German.
Abstract: Photographs collected by Victor Léon, librettist of the Viennese opera. Subjects include Viennese opera stars as well as his friends and family.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2004MT-130 Purchase; received: 1978.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Victor Léon Photograph Collection, 1885-1940 (MS Thr 475). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

The photographs in this collection belonged to Victor Léon (1858-1940), librettist of the Viennese opera. Léon was born named Viktor Hirschfeld in Vienna, Austira, and died there February 4, 1940. Léon was a stage manager of both the Theater in der Josefstadt and the Carltheater in Vienna and became a prolific writer of operetta librettos. [Source: Grove Music Online].


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Léon's photograph collection of 961 images consists primarily of portraits of prominent people in Viennese opera, production photographs of his operas, and other friends and family, including about 80 photographs of Léon's daughter, Lizzy. Includes photographs of Hans Heinz Bollman; Konrad Dreher (b. 1859); Alexander Girardi; Mizzi Gunther; Josef Josephi; Franz Lehar (1870-1948); Lizzy Léon; Victor Léon (1860?-1940); Lizzy Léons husband Hubert Marischka; Ferdinand Pagin; Oscar Straus (1870-1954); Carl Streitmann; Louis Treumann; and Mizzi Zwerenz. Also contains 34 photographs of Herr Reisenhofer, otherwise unidentified, who seems to have been an affluent member of Viennese society.
The production photographs represent shows primarily from the Carltheater, Burgtheater, Theater an der Wien, and the Theater in der Josefstadt, all in Vienna. Titles include Der Doppelganger; Der fidele Bauer; Die geschiedene Frau; Gluck bei Frauen; Der Gottergatte; Der gute Kamerad; Liebeszauber; Die lustige Witwe; Der Nachtschellzug; Der Rastelbinder; Vergeltsgott. The photographs are mainly cabinet photograph or carte-de-visite (card photograph) format, although there are also many snapshots, most of which are unidentified, and one tin-type. In addition, the collection includes an album from a New York production of Die lustige Witwe, several framed photograph portraits, and four glass negatives.

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