Drawing the Curtain

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2019-06-17
  • Publisher: Prestel Pub

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


This book showcases a lesser-known aspect of Maurice Sendak's oeuvre--his set designs for operas and ballets.

Maurice Sendak is well-known for his acclaimed children's books, but he was also an avid music lover and designed a number of opera and ballet productions, among them Mozart's Magic Flute, Janácek's Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, and an opera composed by Oliver Knussen based on Where the Wild Things Are. This book brings together nearly one hundred and fifty drawings from among the more than nine hundred in the Morgan Library & Museum's collection, including preliminary sketches, storyboards, finished watercolors, and painted dioramas. The essays discuss the importance of music and movement to Sendak, the artworks that inspired his stage designs, and the historical and biographical contexts that formed them. The book reveals the breadth of Sendak's visual work for opera and ballet and highlights his keen sense of humor, his love of art history, and his ability to tell striking stories through his art.

Copublished by the Morgan Library & Museum and DelMonico Books

Author Biography

Rachel Federman is Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings at the Morgan Library & Museum. She received her PhD in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and previously held the position of Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Liam Doona is a freelance theater designer and Head of the Department of Design and Visual Arts at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Ireland, where he also lectures in scenography. Alongside his academic role, he has maintained a practice as a set and costume designer. His work can be seen in 2D-3D (2003) and Collaborators (2007), the quadrennial reviews of British stage design published by the Society of British Theatre Designers.

Christopher Mattaliano was named Portland Opera's General Director in 2003. He has directed productions for such companies as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Minnesota Opera. He has also taught and directed at the Juilliard School and Yale University, among others, and served on OPERA America's Board of Directors from 2005 to 2011.

Avi Steinberg is the author of three books, including The Happily Ever: Travels in the World of Popular Romance, which will be published by Knopf Doubleday in 2020. He is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and the Culture Desk of The New Yorker.

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