Florenz Ziegfeld & Joseph Urban: Transforming Broadway

Florenz Ziegfeld & Joseph Urban:
Transforming Broadway


When: Saturday, February 2, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Kempner Gallery Exhibition, Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Where: 535 West 114th Street, New York, NY 10027


About the Event:

Join ADSNY for an engaging gallery talk and exhibition tour of Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s exhibition exploring the paramount contributions of Florenz Ziegfeld and Joseph Urban to the transformation of Broadway theater.

On this private curator-led tour of treasures from the extensive Joseph Urban Archive, we will see a selection of gouache drawings, set models, and plans created by Urban for the Ziegfeld Follies from 1915–1931, along with playbills and photographs, sheet music and other one-of-a-kind materials. Highlights also include original plans and ephemera illustrating the stage magic that Urban created for shows such as the Midnight Frolics, Century Girl, Sally, Rio Rita, Smiles, Show Girl, and Show Boat.

This exclusive tour is sure to fill quickly! As Arnold Aronson wrote in the Wallach Gallery exhibition catalog Architect of Dreams (2000):

“The significance of Urban’s work with Ziegfeld was in bringing artistic excellence, visual wit, and a sense of opulence to popular entertainments . . . it laid the groundwork for Broadway musicals for the rest of the century and for the Hollywood musicals of the 1930s and the extravaganzas of Busby Berkeley. Urban created, in other words, a new scenic and visual vocabulary that permeated popular consciousness.”

Register today to explore this ground-breaking work from two important Jazz Age figures.

About the Archive:

The Urban archive was presented to Columbia in 1958 by his widow and second wife, Mary Porter Beegle, and daughter by his first wife, Gretl Urban. It was to Columbia’s Brander Matthews Dramatic Museum and Library that the collection of some 27,000 items was given.

When the massive Urban archive came to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library with the closing of the Brander Matthews Dramatic Museum and Library in 1971, it was not properly cataloged and much of the collection was too fragile to use. Major grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Preservation and Access Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities enabled the Library to hire a project curator to organize the collection, and provided a conservator for two years to stabilize and rehouse the 342 set models.



To take advantage of our discounted member rate, your ADSNY membership must be valid the date of the event. If your membership expires between the time of event registration and the date of the event, you will be asked to renew your membership or pay the additional fee at the non-member price.

There is a $2.00 processing fee for each ticket to this event. Once you complete the registration form below and press the “Add to Cart” button, you will see a $2.00 per ticket processing fee. This processing fee is labeled “Shipping.”

Please note: ADSNY does not mail event tickets. When you register, your name(s) and contact information are added to the event’s list of attendees. The PayPal confirmation that you receive––via email, after your payment is completed––is the confirmation of your registration for the event.

Members: $35.00
Jazz Age Order Members: $25.00
Non-Members: $45.00

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