Architect of Dreams
The Theatrical Vision of Joseph Urban
Arnold Aronson, Derek E. Ostergard, and Matthew Wilson Smith
Wallach Art Gallery, 2000
10 1/2 x 8 1/4", 78 pp., 101 illus., 50 in color
ISBN 1-884919-08-1, Paper, $30
Previous research on Joseph Urban (1872–1933) has focused on his architectural career; yet after moving from Vienna to the U.S. in 1912, he devoted much of his energies to the stage, especially productions for the Metropolitan Opera and the Ziegfeld Follies. A seminal figure in the history of American theater, he introduced to the U.S. the sophistication of European developments in stage design, experiments with lighting, and painterly effects which paralleled developments in modernist literature, painting, and dance.
Architect of Dreams documents more than 100 finely rendered watercolors, photographs, and three-dimensional stage models. Arnold Aronson (professor of theatre arts at Columbia University) contributes a major essay. In other essays, Derek E. Ostergard contextualizes Urban's architecture, and Matthew Wilson Smith examines Urban's work in film.