[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:hou02106View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement
MS Thr 611

Sharpe, Robert Redington, 1904-1934. Robert Redington Sharpe papers, 1902-1938: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository, portfolio drawers
Call No.: MS Thr 611
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Sharpe, Robert Redington, 1904-1934.
Title: Robert Redington Sharpe papers,
Date(s): 1902-1938.
Quantity: 1 collection (5 linear feet (4 boxes and 11 portfolio drawers)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English, French and German.
Abstract: Papers of American theatrical designer, Robert Redington Sharpe.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

No accession number. Gift of Robert Redington Sharpe; received 1926 April 20.
No accession number. Gift of Hugh Henry Sharpe II; Union College, Schenectady, New York (and of Valley Falls, New York); received: 1938 August 1. [nephew of RRS].

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
NOTE: The portfolio sized materials have not been cataloged as of September 2010. See curatorial file for lists of these materials.
This original gift was described in the Harvard Crimson of 1938 as: "five portfolios of original drawings, portraits and projects; five scrapbooks of clippings, programs, and photographs; many manuscript notes; and costume sketches." It appears that the scrapbooks were dismantled in the repository at the time of the first collection processing.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
A portion of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Robert Redington Sharpe Papers, 1902-1938 (MS Thr 611). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Redington Sharpe (1904-1934) was an American theatrical designer. Sharpe was born in Boston, the son of George Bertram Sharpe, an advertising executive and Leslie Redington Sharpe. In 1919 the family moved to Cleveland where Sharpe studied at the Cleveland Art Institute while attending high school. In 1922 he went to New York City to study scene design with Norman Bel Geddes, and in 1924 he moved to Los Angeles where he became the first art director of the Pasadena Community Playhouse (1924-1926). From 1926-1928 he studied in Paris and Berlin and in 1927 was briefly the art director of the Theater am Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. He returned to New York in 1928 and continued to design sets and costumes; his most critically successful designs after this time being for the Theatre Guild's Major Barbara (1928) and Tobacco Road (1933-1934). Sharpe was found violently beaten and robbed in the subway in New York on 12 May 1934 and he died of head injuries two days later at the age of thirty. Source: American National Biography Online, 2010.


Arranged into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Collection includes: original costume and set designs; working drawings; photographs of designs, sets, and scenes; notes; script materials; programs; clippings pertaining to Sharpe's childhood, student work, and professional career; family miscellany; lists and indexes of Sharpe's work; and other materials.


A portion of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information. Portfolio drawers are uncataloged and shelved in Pusey

Container List