Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Norman Bel Geddes (American, 1893-1958)
Scene rendering for The Comic Supplement
Ca. 1924-25
Watercolor on paper

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Norman Bel Geddes Database

Job 98, Comic Supplement, The, 1924-1926

Summary: Bel Geddes created the setting and lighting for Florenz Ziegfeld’s production of the Comic Supplement “in the spirit of a comic American newspaper cartoon strip.” Geddes and Ziegfeld came to odds almost immediately, with Ziegfeld insisting that all designs come from Geddes's own hands rather than those of assistants, and Geddes pointing out the absurdity of the demand given the quantity and urgency of the work.

J. P. McEvoy’s musical comedy starring W. C. Fields, Betty Compton, and Rae Dooley previewed at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. on 20 January 1925 and at the Shubert Theatre in Newark, New Jersey on 26 January 1925. When Ziegfeld abruptly closed the show (perhaps angry that Geddes's sets received rave reviews), Geddes and a partner bought him out. Ziegfeld relented, however, and a revised version of the supplement, with Geddes's sets, was incorporated into the 1925 Ziegfeld Follies which opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 10 March 1925.

Hunter Code: MC 1
Hunter Guide: page 111

(click image for description)

Box/Location Folder Description
theater box 100 a 1 Model of scene in 5 paper cutouts.
flat file b 1 Scene Renderings --- Sanguine drawing of "Bathing Girls."
flat file b 2 Scene Renderings --- Printed version of "Bathing Girls" [see i 3].
framed item b 3 Scene Renderings --- Framed watercolor rendering (24 3/4 x 32 inches).
framed item b 4 Scene Renderings --- Framed watercolor rendering (23 1/4 x 30 3/4 inches).
flat file d 1-9 Drawings --- 9 Scenic details.
theater box 100 e 1 Preliminary Sketches --- 6 Sketches.
theater box 100 e 2 Preliminary sketches --- 5 Sketches.
flat file e 3-4 Preliminary Sketches --- 5 Scenic sketches.
flat file f 1-11 Drawings --- 11 Plans and elevations.
theater box 100 h 1 Photographs --- Prints and captions.
negative box 38 h 2 Photographs --- 1 Negative.
theater box 100 i 1 Publicity --- Clippings 1925.
theater box 100 i 2 Publicity --- NBG transcriptions of clippings.
flat file i 3 Publicity --- Clipping from Boston Evening Transcript, 23 May 1925 [shows b 2].
theater box 100 j 1 Correspondence --- NBG - McEvoy and Ziegfeld 1924-1926.
theater box 100 m 1 Programs --- National Theatre, Shubert's Theatre, New Amsterdam Theatre.
theater box 100 p 1 Production Specifications --- Set construction cost.