From Sarah Bernhardt to Samuel Beckett: Broadway Photographs from MCNY

The Theater Collection at the Museum of the City of New York contains over 190,000 objects that document theatrical performance in New York City from 1785 on. These include more than 30,000 photographs, documenting over 5,000 Broadway productions, which are currently in the process of being put online. Below is a sample, including Sarah Bernhardt in an 1880 production of “Adrienne Lecouvreur,”  Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy in the original 1948 production of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and  “New Faces of 1952” featuring Eartha Kitt and Paul Lynde — as well as Lunt and Fontanne, Katharine Cornell and Basil Rathbone, Fanny Brice and a Fanny Brice female impersonator, Paul Robeson, Patty Duke, Celeste Holm, Lillian Gish, Tallulah Bankhead, Glenda Jackson, Gwen Verdon, Faye Dunawaye’s first Broadway play and Katharine Hepburn’s final Broadway role… and Samuel Beckett in rehearsal with Billie Whitelaw in 1984. Click on any picture to see it enlarged, and read the caption.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

2 thoughts on “From Sarah Bernhardt to Samuel Beckett: Broadway Photographs from MCNY

  1. Thank you for these and for lifting the mood of the day. I’ll go over to the museum and browse.

    1. Glad you enjoyed! Just a caveat: At any given time, very few of these are on public display at the museum itself.

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