Theatre Design & Technology - May 1969 - 18

Simonson, Lee, "Legacy," 14·19. Simonson dis·
cusses the concept of theatre that Jones reveals in
his writings. "His profession," writes Simonson,
"was less of a calling than a 'call' that led some
of his New England forebearers to a pulpit. The
soul to be saved was the theatre's,"

Gorellk, Mordecai, "Life with Bobby," Theatre Arts
Magazine XXXIX, April, 1955, 30 ff. (Part I), June,
1955, 65 ff. (Part II), A personal reminiscence by
one of Bobby Jones' most ardent admirers. Jones encouraged and befriended Gorelik as a young man, and
Gorelik's admiration and reverence for Jones shines
in this very personal poem of praise.
Fergusson, Francis, "Two Great Men of the Theatre,"
The Nation 183, November, 1956, 460·2. In this
review of the reprinting of Craig's On The Art of the
Theatre and Jones' The Dramatic Imagination by
Theatre Art Books, Inc., in 1956, Fergusson assays
the influence of these two artists. Of Jones,
Fergusson says, "Bobby Jones ... inspired, scolded.
taught. and helped countless young theatre artists,
both by word and by example. To watch him light a
scene-holding a dozen grumpy stagehands far into
the morning, while he get just the effect he wanted
.was a small education in itself. It was impossible
to watch him work without sensing the wonderful
possibility of the stage medium."
Pendleton, Ralph (Editor), THE THEATRE OF ROBERT
EDMOND JONES Middletown, Connecticut:Wesleyan
University Press, 1958. A handsome memorial to
Jones' career in the theatre with over fifty black
and white plates of designs. A special edition of
250 included three hand·colored plates and three
loose sheets of designs. In addition to Pendleton's
Preface (pages xi·xiii) and his excellent Chronology
pages 144·83). Jones was eulogized by the fol·
lowing lifelong friends and colleagues.
Furber, Mary Hall, "The Scene: New Hampshire,
U S.A .. " 7 ·13. Mary Hall Furber, an old friend of
the Jones family creates a vivid picture of Jones;
early years and his Mother's influence, ending
once and for all, the legend of Jones, the un·
tutored farm boy who wandered almost directly
from the plow onto the stage of the Plymouth
Theatre in Ne\'v York.
Macgowan, Kenneth, "Jones as Director and Film
Director," 139·33 Macgowan extolisJones' talents
as both director of plays and as a deSigner of color
motion pictures. Macgowan laments that Hollywood
made such little use of Jones' great talents.
Mielziner, Jo., "Practical Dreams," 20·25. Miel·
ziner dispels the myth of Jones as the "ivory·tower
artist," describing him instead as a "practical
dreamer," who went to great lengths to make his
dreams come true, with what rVlielziner describes
as the "orderly efficiency of Robert EdmondJones."
Oenslager. Donald, "Settings by Robert Edmond
Jones," 131·38. In a detailed discussion of how
Jones designed Lute Song (which includes plans,
ohotographs and designs), Oenslager calls Jones a
remarkablv perceptive artist and an unerring craftsman" who, with "11Is hands, his head, and his
,and with imagination and discernment
could evoke settings on our stage that mirrored his
poignant insight into the meaning of all things thea·

Young, Stark, "Robert Edmond Jones: A Note,"
3·6. Young outlines the objectives Jones set out
for himself early in his career and in his critical
reviews of Jones' designs for The Birthday of the
Infanta and Macbeth, Young explains clearly how
completely Jones was able to achieve his objectives.
Kirstein, Lincoln, "Aristocrat of the Theatre," Nation
186, March 22, 1958. 260·1. In a review of THE
speaks of the early influences upon Jones' career
He believes that the city of Florence (where Jones
waited several days for Craig to see him), and the
German expressionism he saw in Munich and Berlin
had the greatest influence. Kirstein called Jones a de·
signer's designer, the most elegant of all. Citing
Jones' design for the Group Theatre production of
Anderson's Night Over Taos, Kirstein says that
Jones did not always have the play's best interests
at hean when he designed. Yet, says Kirstein, Jones
constantly sought "simplicity, the elegant distillation
of irreducibl es."

Larson Orville K., "A Note on the New Stagecralt in
America," Educational Theatre Journal XIII. De·
cember, 1961, 178·9. Samuel J. Hume explains in a
letter to Larson, how he went about putting together
the first American exhibttion of the new stagecraft
in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the summer of 191 5,
and how Robert Edmond Jones came to lecture on
the model stage and the new system of lighting
the plastic dome, when the exhibition moved to New
York that fall. .. "all of which," said Mr. Hume, "led
to Jones' meeting with Granville-Barker, the com·
mission to design The Man Who Married A Dumb
Wife. and Jones' debut on Broadway."

Syrjala, S., "Scenery is for Seeing," SCENE DESIGN
FOR STAGE AND SCREEN. Orville K. Larson (Editor!,
East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State UniverSIty
Press, 1961, 232-43. Although this essay is a dis·
cussion of the aesthetics of designing scenery for
teleVision, in it Syrjala gives a logical explanation of
why Robert Edmond Jones did not have greater suc·
cess designing movies in Hollywood. "Jones," says
Syrjala, "was not a bits and pieces assembler of
patterns and details, His highly selective taste and
precisely flawless sense of form relations found their
expression in simplicity of statement. Sumptuously he
underdressed. Richly, great expanses were naked of
all but space and beautiful light, rich only in the can·
text of balanced forms. His world was the stage in
which lhe whole expanse surrounding and bathing
the actors was the vision and the statement. It must
have been grotesque to see the camera selecting blls
and pieces and making them meaningless out of context.
In truth he lJones' crealed no pictures."

Henry VIII: Framed Drop Detail

Crepeau, George, "Robert Edmond Jones on the
Creative Process: An Interview with a Group of High
School Students," Educational Theatre Journal XIX,
May, 1967, 124·33. A transcription of recorded in·
terview Jones gave to a group of students at South
High School in Columbus, Ohio on February 22, 1947
while he was in Columbus for the out·of·lOwn open·
Ing of the Theatre Guild's production of Eugene
O'Neill's Moon of the Misbegotten. Jones answers
Questions about the process of designing a stage

III. The Influence of Robert Edmond Jones Upon
the Development of the New Stagecraft in
America: Reviews and Critical Discussions
A. The Reviews
Jones' impact and influence upon the new
stagecraft was greatest during the period be·
tween his his debut in 1915 until he joined
Eugene O'Neill and Kenneth Macgowan toform
the Experimental Theatre, Inc., in 1924, to
produce at the Provincetown and the Greenwich Village Theatre. It was also the period
when Jones experimented
frequently with
theatrical form and design.

(Anonymous), "Granville· Barker's New Art," Lit·
erary Digest 50, February 20, 1915,274·5. An
account of Granville·Barker's productions of Androdes
and the Lion and The Man Who Married A Dumb
Wife. Jones' setting and costumes for Dumb Wife
called first example of new art in New York theatre.
Jones called the first American to follow the new
movement of the European theatre. Picture of Dumb
Wife setting and excellent description of same.
Photograph of Jones.
Hpagood, Norman, "The Dumb Wife," Harper's
Weekly 60, February 27, 1915,208·9. Review of
The Man Who Married A Dumb Wife with an ex·
tensive discussion of Jones' setting, "Americans
readily mix up the new tendencies in the decorative
stage art," says Hapgood, "they say Reinhardt and
Bakst and they think they have covered the subject
.Stern of Berlin, for example, \,,,ho has done much
of Reinhardt's scenery, including the Sumurun, now
here is a true artist, but it is absurd not to see the
individual diHerences between him and Jones. Jones'
example," concludes Hapgood, "is a truly American
contribution. "
(Anonymous), "The Man Who Married A Dumb
Wife," Theatre Magazine XXI, March. 1915, 1 10 ff.
in contrast to the other reviews that were enthusiastic, this unsigned review calls Dumb Wife a mere
trifle that holds the attention but for a few moments.
"Save for the matenal of the seventeenth·century
presentation. it is empty as an entertainment factor ,"
The reviewer was much more enthusiastic about
Norman Wilkinson's settings for Androdes and the
Lion, which were done in a more traditional manner.
_ _ _ _ _ _ , "New York's Excited Impressions of
Granville·Barker." Current Opinion 58, April, 1915,
248·9. Comments on the new stagecraft's coming
10 New York. Settings called the "essence" of the
new revelation. Style of setting for Dumb Wife called
"Granville-Barkerism, "
Pevser, H. F., 'Tit Eulenspeigel," Current Opinion
61, August, 1916, 101·2. A review of Jones setting
and costumes for the Nijinsky ballet produced at the
Metropolitan Opera in New York. "In the Straussian
ballet," says Peyser, "Jones has transcended his
previous accomplishments in audacity of conception
as well as unexampled novelty-and felicity of effect.
Eulenspiegel is the masterpiece of nobody as in·
contestably as of Mr Jones. It was his contributions
that captivated the audience."
Macgowan, Kenneth, "The Repertory and the Broad·
way Season," Theatre Arts Magazine III, January,
1919, 19·21. A portion of Macgowan's assessment
of Broadway devoted 10 the Hopkins, Jones, Barry·
more production of Tolstoy's Redemption. Macgowan
called the playa lukewarm success but hailed Jones'
settings as another step in the advance of the new
stagecraft on Broadway,


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