The Art Directors Guild Archives is a visual research collection that contains a wide range of materials, including books, photographs, magazines, brochures, maps and other travel ephemera, vintage catalogs, set drawings, storyboards and illustrations, and research files. The collection also includes materials on Guild history and books on the history and practice of art direction in film, TV and theater. The materials in the ADG Archives are available at no charge to all members of the Art Directors Guild. You can come in and do research in person, or we can do research on your behalf.
The ADG Catalog is a searchable resource to help you discover the holdings of the Archives. It includes records for all of the books in the collection, as well as listings of archival collections, magazines, brochures and other ephemera, photographs, and research files. Some of the records include images. The home page also features a Research Corner with links to some recommended web resources.
The ADG collection includes over 5800 books on art, architecture, locations, history and design, as well as vintage issues of Vogue, Life, Architectural Digest, Town & Country, House and Garden, and other magazines. The Archives is also the home to an expansive visual research clip and image collection containing thousands of files on a wide range of topics. In addition, the collection includes more than 5000 film, television, set and personality photographs, as well as pamphlets and brochures on a variety of topics, including travel, transportation, history, museums and sports.
The Archives also includes original production art, as well as photographs, clippings, maps and other printed material from Bob Boyle, Gene Allen, and Ed Stephenson, among others, and many illustrations and set drawings from Jan Scott, Ed Stephenson, Brian Bartholomew, Hub Braden, and John Shrum.
The Guild has also amassed a large collection of feature films, box sets, and television series on DVD. A portion of the media collection includes interviews and videotaped panel discussions with members of the Art Directors Guild, mainly Production Designers and Art Directors, including Gene Allen, Harold Michelson, William Creber, Brian Eatwell, Patrizia von Brandenstein, Ken Adam, Robert Boyle, Albert Brenner, Jan Scott and John De Cuir, recorded at Art Directors Guild events from 1986 to the present.
BRIAN BARTHOLOMEW COLLECTION 1972-1999
Bartholomew worked as an assistant Art Director for the B.B.C. in Birmingham and London in the video television division. He then worked for Westward Television as an Art Director, and worked on several productions in Canada before beginning his work as a television Art Director in the United States. The Collection consists of materials related to Bartholomew’s career as both a Production Designer and an Art Director, with documents from his work in television, live events, theater, and theme park design. It includes original sketches and set construction drawings in pencil, along with photographs, programs and other items related to his projects.
EDWARD STEPHENSON COLLECTION 1966-1995
The career of Edward S. Stephenson spanned five decades and included classic variety shows as well as sitcoms, television movie and feature film. His credits as an Art Director include Good Times (1974), Sanford and Son (1972), Maude (1972), and All in the Family (1968). Production Designer credits include Blossom (1991), Empty Nest (1988), The Golden Girls (1985), Benson (1979) and Soap (1977). The Collection includes original illustrations, set photographs, set construction drawings, and various image research files.
FILM STILL COLLECTION 1914-2002
The Film Still Collection consists of photographs, clippings, posters, and ephemera from films produced between 1914 and 2002. A substantial amount of material is from films produced between the 1940’s and 1970’s with over 100 titles per decade present. The collection includes images of actors, costumes, scenes, sets and locations from 702 different film productions by title and year produced. Additional related archival material is located in other collections including Set Stills, Television Production Stills, and Personality Files. The collection serves as a historical record of productions in the mid 20th century.
JAN SCOTT COLLECTION 1955–1995
Jan Scott (1914-2003) was born in Carbondale, Illinois and obtained degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the University of Chicago, and also studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and MIT. Scott began her career at NBC in Chicago, and built a notable career over several decades in production design for film and television. The collection consists of materials related to Scott’s career as a production designer, with documents from her work in both television and film. Materials include an oral history interview transcript, original sketches and set drawings in pencil, charcoal, and watercolor, along with production notes, research, and photographs.
PRINTED EPHEMERA COLLECTION 1890-2013
This collection of 407 items of ephemera ranges a broad variety of topics, including art, architecture, film, US and world travel, automobiles, ships, parks, fitness and sports, and industry. It includes brochures, maps, informational pamphlets, promotional booklets, and government materials that date back as far back as the 1890’s and as recently as the 2010’s. There are also a series of research binders, production binders, script drafts and vendor materials.
SET STILL COLLECTION 1922-1965
The collection serves as a historical record of film productions in the mid 20th century and documents the styles and developments in art direction throughout the middle of the 20th Century. The Set Still Collection consists of 492 black and white photographs captured from 1922 to 1965. However, a substantial amount of archival materials are from films produced in the 1930s and 40s, consisting of an art deco interior style of furniture and architecture. From looking at the images you can witness the recycling of furniture, materials, and props amongst several of the RKO films produced in the early 1930s. The collection includes predominantly images of purely interior set furnishings, however there are some shots of exterior buildings, as well as images in which actors and members of the crew appear amongst the set. There is a consistent reappearance of credited Art Directors; Anton Grot, Hugh Reticker, Cedric Gibbons, Van Nest Polglase and Robert M. Haas each worked on a large percentage of the films of this collection. Through sourcing the production companies of these set stills, we are able to visibly understand the Studio System that existed in the 30s and 40s era of filmmaking and acknowledge the tight group of studios that dominated the industry during this time. Warner Bros. and RKO can be seen to have the widest level of films produced within this particular collection.