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Virgil C. Johnson Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 20/76
Description of the Series, Boxes 1-9 (1957-2007)

Boxes 1-9 of the Virgil C. Johnson Papers span the years 1957-2007; the bulk of the papers date between 1985 and 2005. Johnson's papers consist mostly of teaching materials from the time when he was professor at Northwestern University.

Biographical files include a resume and curriculum vitae, and desk diaries between 2002 and 2006. Items within each file are arranged chronologically.

Educational files include material from Johnson's academic career. It contains course notes from Boston University and Northwestern University. Items within each file are arranged chronologically.

Teaching files contain lecture and course notes and other teaching materials from the courses Johnson gave at De Paul University and Northwestern University. Items within each file are arranged chronologically.

The Northwestern University teaching materials include notes on the courses Johnson led, student grading forms and evaluations. These documents are restricted and may be used only with permission of the University Archivist. Items within each file are arranged chronologically.

The materials in the general subseries contain articles about Johnson's profession as costume designer, programs of Northwestern University theatre plays, inter-office correspondence with Johnson as chair of Design Studies, and materials from the Evanston Exhibition “Paisley, Paraphernalia, and Public Life 1830-1940.” Items within each file are arranged chronologically.

The oversize materials subseries include stage sets and costume drawings, both class projects and Johnson's demonstrations. Items within each file don't have a specific arrangement.

Description of the Additions, 2008-2009 (boxes 10-12)

The addition to the Virgil C. Johnson Papers consists of three boxes with play production materials and drawings of theatre stage sets. The addition spans the years 2008-2009.

Play production materials fill one half-size archival box and include mainly set design samples, performance calendars, actor’s photos, magazines, and cheat sheets for the plays Arsenic & Old Lace, Dangerous Beauty, and The Perfume Shop (La Parfumerie).The plays were performed during the years 2008 and 2009 at the Northwestern University Theater and Interpretation Center and the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida.

Virgil Johnson’s watercolor and line drawings in the dropfront boxes numbers 11 and 12 include sketches of characters of the plays Arsenic & Old Lace, Dangerous Beauty, and The Perfume Shop (La Parfumerie).

Description of the Additions, 1957-2013 (boxes 13-21)

This addition to the Virgil C. Johnson Papers is comprised of 9 boxes containing costume and set design, publications from the Asolo Repertory Theatre, production material, a scrapbook, and some other personal items. The addition spans the years 1957 – 2013.

The Publications from the Asolo Repertory Theatre include information about the plays, the actors, the producers, and the directors. The contents are arranged chronologically.

Production Material, 2 full-size archival boxes with material from 1965-2013, includes photographs, costume plans, character research, scripts, and rehearsal calendars. The folders are arranged chronologically by play, and then alphabetically by the contents of the individual folder.

The one archival box of Personal Materials contains a signed and framed photograph of Billy Siegenfeld from 1993, date books from 2009-2012, and issue 134 of the Triquarterly. There are also some Unidentified Documents contained in this folder. The folders are arranged chronologically.

Johnson’s Scrapbook contains photographs and programs from plays performed at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont and at the Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts from 1957-1961.

Costume and Set Design fills 4 boxes and contains mostly costume designs. Sketches of costumes and sets from 1961 – 2013 are included. Most of the material is from the plays performed between 2010 and 2012 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. The illustrations have been organized by size, then date, then play title, and finally, character name.

Dates

  • 1957-2013
  • Other: Date acquired: 12/08/2008

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact us at archives@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3136 to schedule an appointment to view the collection.

Extent

22.00 Boxes

Abstract

Papers of costume designer Virgil Johnon, Northwestern alumnus and faculty member in the School of Communication (1969-2007) include biographical and teaching files as well as costume and stage sketches and production material.

Method of Acquisition

Boxes 1-9 of the Virgil C. Johnson papers were donated to the University Archives by Virgil C. Johnson as Accession No. 07-106 on August 24, 2007.

Boxes 10-12 were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Virgil Johnson on October 3, 2011 as Accession # 11-169.

Boxes 13-21 were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Virgil Johnson on October 22, 2013 as Accession #13-218.
Title
Guide to the Virgil C. Johnson Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3635