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Acquired in 1983 (the spelunker thinks)

artist
Herbert, Jocelyn
attributions_note
bibliography
collection_code
T&P
credit
date_end
1962-12-31
date_start
1962-01-01
date_text
1962 (painted)
descriptive_line
Set design by Jocelyn Herbert for Samuel Beckett's play Happy Days, Royal Court Theatre, 1962.
dimensions
Height: 30 cm unmounted, Width: 33 cm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
Theatre and Performance (Victoria and Albert Museum, Galleries 103 -106 01/01/2009-31/12/2009)
gallery
historical_context_note
historical_significance
history_note
Set design by Jocelyn Herbert for Samuel Beckett's play Happy Days, directed by George Devine, Royal Court Theatre, 1962. This was the first production of the play in English.
id
1389
label
2 Set design for Happy Days 1962 Beckett pictured his character Winnie trapped in a mound of scorched earth under an ‘azure’ sky. Jocelyn Herbert did not think yellow earth worked with a bright blue backcloth. She made a sketch with an orange sky and sent it to Beckett, explaining that orange suggested concentrated heat. Beckett agreed. The word ‘azure’ no longer appears in the play. Play by Samuel Beckett, 1961 Royal Court Theatre, London Pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper Designed and painted by Jocelyn Herbert (1917-2003) Museum no. S.1052–1983 [March 2009 - September 2013]
last_checked
2014-08-29T19:24:47.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T19:24:47.000Z
latitude
54.313919
location
In Storage
longitude
-2.23218
marks
materials
paper, pencil, watercolour, gouache
materials_techniques
Pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper
museum_number
S.1052-1983
museum_number_token
s10521983
object_number
O166043
object_type
Set design
on_display
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Expanse of sand under an orange sky. At centre a blonde woman in a pink dress, buried up to her bosom in the sand. To her left a black handbag, to her right the head of a man facing to back. He wears a yellow boater and reads a newspaper.
place
Great Britain
primary_image_id
production_note
production_type
public_access_description
Jocelyn Herbert (1917-2003) trained at the London Theatre Studio run by Michel Saint Denis and George Devine, graduating in 1938. The outbreak of war, and the demands of marriage and a family, prevented her from taking up a design career immediately, but in 1956 she joined Devine at the Royal Court Theatre as a staff scene painter and in 1957 designed her first Royal Court production, Ionesco's The Chairs. She worked with Devine for ten years and her minimal settings, in which realistic details were placed within simplified settings, revolutionised post-war stage design. Her work was seen at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the National Theatre, where her designs for Peter Hall's productions of The Oresteia (1981) and The Oedipus Plays (1996), using full masks, were much admired. Herbert designed the first English production of Samuel Beckett's play, Happy Days, which was directed by George Devine at the Royal Court. Brenda Bruce played Winnie, trapped in a mound of scorched earth but maintaining her optimism against the odds. Jocelyn Herbert later admitted that she was never happy with her design for the mound. To create the unbroken plain specified by Beckett she drew sand dunes receding into the distance, but in the theatre the perspective could only be seen properly from the circle as the mound got in the way. This was not the only aspect of the set to prove problematic. Beckett imagined Winnie under an 'azure' sky, but Herbert did not think that the yellow earth of her design worked with a bright blue backcloth. She made a sketch with an orange sky and sent it to Beckett, explaining that orange suggested concentrated heat. Beckett agreed. The word 'azure' no longer appears in the play.
related_museum_numbers
rights
2
shape
site_code
slug
set-design-herbert-jocelyn
sys_updated
2013-11-25T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
painting (image-making), drawing (image-making)
title
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
1962
year_start
1962