Scope and Contents
The collection consists of about 270 sheets containing approximately 1,000 costume and set design drawings by Edgar Hockley from late-Victorian London stage productions, many of which are believed to have been commissioned by Henry Irving. Also present are theatre programs and clippings from the same period. Drawings in the collection are unsigned; attribution to Hockley is based on a similar collection of drawings in the archives of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Hockley's name also appears on one envelope in the collection, box 4, item 10a.
A large majority of the drawings were made using graphite only, but a number also contain watercolor, pen and ink, and gouache. Most of the drawings are accompanied by detailed notes on colors or other aspects of appearance.
- Majority of material found within 1886 - 1897
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The collection is the physical property of the Yale Center for British Art. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Acquired 2004, Paul Mellon Fund.
The collection is arranged into four series: I. Theatre Programs and Clippings; II. Designs By Production; III. Designs By Era; IV. Designs By Subject. Folders are arranged alphabetically by production (Series I and II) or topic (Series III and IV).
1.68 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Language of Materials
This collection comprises costume and set design drawings by Edgar Hockley depicting late-Victorian London stage productions. Also present are theatre programs and clippings from the same period.
Biographical / Historical
The artist Edgar Hockley (1860-1938) achieved primary success as a wood-engraver, the profession listed alongside his name in the census of 1881. In 1891 he is listed as "wood engraver and draughtsman"; in 1901, as "retired wood engraver." The Victoria & Albert Museum notes: "Edgar Hockley's connections with the theatrical world and the specific reason for executing these sketches [in the V&A's collection of related material] is still unknown. Hockley was not designing anything, but recording finished productions and noting details of their appearance, especially their colours that he identified using professional paint colour names such as 'madder', 'gamboge' and 'cobalt blue'. From what we can glean of his life from census returns there is no evidence of theatrical relations or links, although he must have been well known especially in the London theatre world to gain entry to the dress rehearsals of the productions he sketched. It is highly unlikely that he could have made sketches and detailed notes such as these from a seat in a darkened auditorium." For the V&A's full description of Hockley, and their collection of Hockley material, see: http://www.vam.ac.uk/archives/unit/ARC16535
- Bailey, Celia E. “The Cattermole Family of Artists Part Two: The Second Generation.” The Magazine for the International Collector of Watercolours, Drawings and Prints, v. 6.1 (1991), p. 27-29.
- Booth, Michael R. Theatre in the Victorian Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
- Holland, Peter. “The RSC and Studio Shakespeare.” Essays in Criticism, v. 32.3 (July 1982), p. 205-218.
- Irving, Henry, and Jeffrey Richards. Theatre, Culture and Society: Essays, Addresses and Lectures. Keele: Ryburn Publishing, Keele University Press, 1994.
- Jowers, Sidney J, and John Cavanagh. Theatrical Costume, Masks, Make-Up and Wigs: A Bibliography and Iconography. London: Routledge, 2000.
- Richards, Jeffrey. Sir Henry Irving: A Victorian Actor and His World. London: Hambledon and London, 2005.
- Rowell, George. Theatre in the Age of Irving. Totowa, N.J: Rowman and Littlefield, 1981.
- Stoker, Bram. Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving. New York: Macmillan, 1906.
- Costume -- Great Britain -- 19th century
- Costume design -- Great Britain -- 19th century
- Costume design drawings
- Costume designers -- Great Britain -- 19th century
- Graphite drawings
- Hockley, Edgar, 1860-1938
- Irving, Henry, Sir, 1838-1905
- Pen and ink drawings
- Set design drawings
- Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 (Stage history)
- Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928
- Theater -- Great Britain -- 19th century
- Theater programs
- Theaters -- Great Britain -- Stage-setting and scenery -- 19th century
- Guide to the Edgar Hockley Collection
- compiled by Brian Baldi; edited by Francis Lapka
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Yale Center for British Art, Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository
Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts
1080 Chapel Street
P. O. Box 208280
New Haven CT 06520-8280 US
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven , CT 06510