A catalog: The Robert L.B. Tobin Collections, scene designs 16th through 19th centuries
Ellis, Morris Ray
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This work entailed collecting available data, photographing, and cataloging of all the original renderings and lithographs of scene designs from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries held in the Robert L. B. Tobin Collection. Chapter One of the Catalog begins with a brief biographical sketch of Mr. Tobin, which describes his developing interest in scene design and relates the purpose of the Collection. This information is followed by a short description of the identifying characteristics of each of the following major art movements in scene design: Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical, and Romantic art movements. Chapter Two of the Catalog contains 337 entries that are classified as to their respective artistic movements according to the artist's dates and identifying characteristics of the individual designs. Information about the artists includes their names, birth and death dates, and short biographical sketches. Each design has been given a figure number which corresponds to plate numbers in Chapter Three, and, when available, a descriptive title, a production title, act and scene number, date of work, the lithographers who actually struck the designs in lithographic form, and annotations. Other information given for all designs is the types of media used, dimensions of the work, and the Tobin Accession Number. Chapter Three consists of photographs of the original renderings and lithography works held in the Collection.' Under each photograph is the following information: a figure number, and when available the designer's name, the production title, and the act and scene numbers. Chapter Four describes the value of the Catalog. The Tobin Collection would prove to be a valuable resource tool for anyone studying the art and history of scene design. The Collection illustrates the development of the physical stage facilities, the types of spectacle, the subject matter of the opera, ballet, and drama, and the variety of stage decor. It also reveals how design techniques changed in subject matter, style of decor, and individual drawing and rendering manner. This Collection is important to the world of scene design because it provides a pictorial history as well as an insight into the evolution of scenic design as an art form.