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View of a set model for Ziegfeld Follies, displaying painted furniture details and the use of receding planes to produce the illusion of depth.

Joseph Urban (American, b. Austria, 1872–1933), Set Model: 1931 Ziegfeld Follies, Blue Nursery Scene, Joseph Urban Archive, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University



Hello, my name is Jill Cleary and I am Visitor Services Coordinator at the museum. I will be reading the Set Models section in Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom by Joseph Urban.

After studying the libretto for an opera or the script for a theatrical production, Urban created sketches of his set designs. Some of these are on view here. From his drawings, miniature scaled models were created. Outfitted with their own lighting systems and moveable parts, the models were used to confirm light direction, angles of visibility from all parts of the theater, scale, overall concept, and stage management details.

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