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MS Thr 1134

Costume designs for French music-halls, 1910-1962: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: pfd
Call No.: MS Thr 1134
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Costume designs for French music-halls,
Date(s): 1910-1962.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 linear foot (59 drawings in 58 folders)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in French and English
Abstract: Costume designs for shows at Les Ambassadeurs, Folies-Bergère, Casino de Paris and other French music-halls.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Various accession numbers, various dates.
Where known, accession number is indicated for each design.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Irina Klyagin

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Costume Designs for French Music-Halls, 1910-1962 (MS Thr 1134). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Jenny Carré (1902-1945) was a French costume designer for music-halls and operetta. She designed many shows in partnership with Henri R. Fost.
Dany L. Barry (191?-1937), who signed his work as Dany, was a French artist and costume designer, who worked at Folies-Bergère from 1930 to 1934.
Henri Raymond Fost (1905-1970) was a French stage and costume designer for Casino de Paris and other music-halls.
Michel Gyarmathy (1908-1996) was a Hungarian-born French costume designer and artistic director of Folies-Bergère.
Gaston Noury (1866-?) was a French poster and postcard designer, and costume designer for cabarets and music-halls.
Gontran René Ranson (1891-1977) was a French costume designer who worked for Folies-Bergère from 1924 to 1932; he also designed costumes for opera and movie studios.
Roberto Rosello is a stage and costume designer for theater, opera, cabaret, ice shows, and circus.
Freddy Wittop (1911-2001) was a Dutch-born stage designer for Folies-Bergère and other music-halls, who later moved to the United States and became a prominent costume designer on Broadway.
José de Zamora (1889-1971) was a Spanish artist, fashion and costume designer for Folies-Bergère, Casino de Paris, Moulin Rouge and other music-halls.
Alexandre Zinoviev (1889-1977) was a Russian artist and illustrator who worked for various French and American fashion magazines, and designed costumes and decor for Casino de Paris, Les Ambassadeurs, and Folies-Bergère.
Zig (Louis Gaudin) (190?-1936), was a French artist, illustrator and poster designer, who was most famous for designing for Mistinguett, Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier.
Each year music-halls directors set up an annual theme, after which various tableaux were created to serve as vehicles to famous singers and fill in the gaps between musical numbers. The tableaux included comic, dramatic, historical and other subjects; costumes reflected the theme. Each costume represented a character or an object, an animal or a plant, a building, sport, food, or other subjects suggested by the annual theme.


Arranged alphabetically by the name of the artist.

Scope and Contents

Collection contains costume designs for musical entertainment and tableaux for shows at Parisian music-halls, Les Ambassadeurs, Folies-Bergère, Casino de Paris, and others. It also includes costume design by Freddy Wittop for Her Majesty's Theatre in London.
With the exception of several drawings, all costume designs are for female dancers. Collection also includes two costume designs for the famous cabaret singer Mistinguett.
More often than not, designers worked for costume makers rather than for music-halls themselves; many designs bear stamps of famous Parisian costumiers for theater, operetta, cabarets and music-halls, Jean Saunal, Maison Pasquad, and Max Weldy; a few have fabric swatches attached. Artists include Jenny Carré, L. Barry Dany, Henri R. Fost, Michel Gyarmathy, Gaston Noury, Gontran René Ranson, Roberto Rosello, Freddy Wittop, José de Zamora and Zig (Louis Gaudin).

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