Where All the World’s an Atmospheric Stage KAREN ROSENBERG New York Times 7/5/2009
Donald Oenslager, the great American set designer and a professor at the Yale School of Drama, wrote that “a sketch for a scene is as short-lived as the life of the theater it supports.”
Mr. Oenslager, who died in 1975, was being a bit disingenuous, as he was a major collector of such sketches. In 1982 his widow gave some 1,600 drawings, prints and books on set design to the Morgan Library & Museum. About 50 of these drawings, including two by Mr. Oenslager, are on view there in “Creating the Modern Stage: Designs for Theater and Opera.” They present a concise summary of 20th-century stagecraft, one that appeals equally to Museum of Modern Art mavens and seasoned theatergoers.