Selections from the Paris Music Hall Collection
The Paris Music Hall Collection comprises over 6,000 original renderings of costume designs and 1,000 original renderings of curtain designs for the music halls of Paris from 1920-1938. The Collection, acquired in 1968 by the Library, was originally the property of Max Weldy who provided the elaborate costumes and curtains to the Folies Bergere, Moulin Rouge and other popular cabarets and music halls. Weldy maintained a stable of young, extraordinarily imaginative designers who flocked to Paris from all over Europe to establish a name for themselves. Among the first of Weldy's artists was Romain de Tirtoff, a fledgling designer from Russia, who would later be internationally renowned as Erte.
After the owners and artistic directors of the music halls determined the annual theme for the shows, various tableaux were created to fill an evening's entertainment. Most of these were simply spectacles serving as vehicles for the star artists such as Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier, Josephine Baker, and the Dolly Sisters. The tableaux varied widely to include comic, dramatic and historic subjects, but musical entertainment was always the focal point. The costumes reflected the themes such as "the French Revolution", "Jewels", "The Garden of Metal", "The Seven Deadly Sins", "Flowers", as well as various animals, food, and sports. The Hargrett Library has a fairly extensive collection of programs from the productions providing invaluable documentation of the tableaux as well as the stars, chorus lines, songs, and credits for many , but not all, of the designers.
All images on the Hargrett site are either protected by copyright law, or are the property of the University of Georgia Libraries, Hargrett Library. Permission to publish must be obtained from both the Hargrett Library, and/or the legal copyright holder. See: Permission to Publish
For further information about this collection, please contact:
Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library:
Phone: (706) 542-7123 / FAX: (706) 542-0672