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Hockley, Edgar, 1860–1938

Edgar Hockley collection, 1886-1924, bulk 1886-1897.

Physical Description:
1.68 linear feet (4 boxes)
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View a description and listing of collection contents in the finding aid
Archives & Manuscripts
The collection is open without restriction.
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
Material in the collection was formerly attributed to Charles Cattermole (fl. 1859); comparing the drawings to those held by the V & A confirms Hockley as the artist.
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 (see link provided herewith). 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.
Series I (1886-1924) comprises programs and clippings from the stage productions of As You Like It, Becket, Charles I, Cymbeline, Faust, Find the Woman, Henry IV, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard III, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and various others. Organization is alphabetical, by production. Programs advertising multiple productions are filed together alphabetically by theater.
Series II comprises costume and set design drawings for Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, Becket, Charles I, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Davy Garrick, Don Juan, Faust, Henry IV, Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, King John, Louis XI, Lyon's Mail, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, She Stoops to Conquer, The Three Muskateers, and Twelfth Night.
Series III comprises costume and set design drawings organized alphabetically by era, including: Greco/Roman, Medieval, Elizabethan, Cavalier/17th Century, Georgian, Regency, and Victorian. Within each category drawings are further organized by "female," "male," and "male & female."
Series IV comprises costume, set design, and study drawings organized alphabetically by subject, including: Acrobats, Court jesters, Fairies, Figure drawings, Furniture, Galateia, Jewelry, Orientalism, Religious, Scene, Scenery, Unidentified characters, and Works by Danish Painters exhibit. Where relevant, within each category drawings are further organized by "female," "male," and "male & female.”
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).
Subject Terms:
Costume -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Costume design -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Costume designers -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Hockley, Edgar, 1860-1938.
Irving, Henry, Sir, 1838-1905.
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Stage history.
Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928.
Theater -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Theaters -- Great Britain -- Stage-setting and scenery -- 19th century.
Costume design drawings.
Graphite drawings.
Ink drawings.
Set design drawings.
Theater programs.
Cattermole, Charles, active 1859.

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