American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Costume Design

Design for costume for The Birthday of the Infanta
Robert Edmond Jones (1889-1954)
Design for costume for
The Birthday of the Infanta

Water color and graphite and ink
Music Division
Gift of Mrs. John Alden Carpenter, 1963 (155D)

The scenario for the The Birthday of the Infanta adhered fairly closely to the short story of Oscar Wilde. One great difference was the sorrow evidenced by the Infanta at the close of the ballet, in contrast to her cold reaction to the death of the dwarf in Wilde's story. Robert Edmond Jones created a wide variety of costume types for The Birthday, including the costumes of the dancers entertainers, and the mock bull for the mock bull fight which was part of the festivities. The costumes of the courtiers (one is shown here) were based on actual dress of the time and reflect the great luxury of seventeenth-century Spain.

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