28 November 2022

Kenneth Rowell: Designer for the Stage

Kenneth Rowell: Designer for the Stage exhibition

The National Library of Australia – Kenneth Rowell: Designer for the Stage exhibition

Characters and productions come alive through design.

Our new Collection-in-Focus exhibition highlights the work of Melbourne-born painter and designer Kenneth Rowell (1920-1999). He lived and worked as an artist and theatre designer in London from 1952, frequently returning to work in Australia until 1982 when he moved back to Melbourne.

Rowell’s costume design archive comprises of about 1,400 designs for costumes and sets, as well as notebooks, sketchbooks, programs and photographs. It documents 87 productions he worked on between 1943 and 1993, often in collaboration with his wife, Victoria, who painted the fabric of his costumes.

While Rowell almost always designed both costume and set designs for a production, this exhibition showcases a selection of hand-drawn costume designs, as well as other items that give us a sense of his life in the theatre, who he was as an artist and the vast scope of theatre productions he was involved with in his lifetime.

This exhibition can be seen in the Library’s Treasures Gallery from Wednesday 29 June. Entry to the Gallery is free and no bookings are required.

The details

What: Kenneth Rowell: Designer for the Stage exhibition
When: From 29 June 2022 to 13 March 2023
Where: Treasures Gallery at The National Library of Australia – Parkes Place, Canberra ACT 2600
Cost: Free.

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