The Tobin Collection: The Americans
Eclectic might be one way to describe Robert Tobin's taste in art. There seems to be no prejudice in his collection of theatre art and no stifling specialization. This is not to say that the collection is without holes in it. As Linda Hardberger, the first curator of The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, points out, there is little, if anything, from Africa. Latin America is also under-represented. That said, there is still a thrilling range to his collection, from the books dealing with matters of the theatre, to the bold costume and set designs from the Ballets Russes, to the work of numerous American artists. Surely, this area, designs by American artists for American companies, is one of the strengths of The Tobin Collection.
Part 4 of the 5-part series The Tobin Collection: A Musical Vision, seeks out a musical soundtrack to this part of Mr. Tobin's collection. Not all of the music is American. This slideshow, and this week's radio segment, both begin with Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida." But outside the music, just about everything else is American. The scenic design was by the team of Helen Pond and Herbert Senn. This was but one of numerous designs for Sarah Caldwell and her Opera Company of Boston. I, for one, look forward to discovering more of what is stored in the Caldwell boxes, for the work she did as a theatre producer and musical conductor is legend. Choreographer Ben Stevenson says it all in his enthusiastic remarks about the work he did for Ms. Caldwell.
Other important names which come up under the American heading, as it relates to The Tobin Collection, are Oliver Smith, Jo Mielziner, and Robert Indiana. They are all represented in this week's slideshow and they all get musical underscoring on this week's edition of The Tobin Collection: A Musical Vision.