August 24, 2015 "Grand Illusion: The Art of Theatrical Design" Exhibition Travels to Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles

Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Website: Grand Illusion: The Art of Theatrical Design

The Library of Congress exhibition “Grand Illusion: The Art of Theatrical Design” will travel to Los Angeles, opening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the Library of Congress Ira Gershwin Gallery on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Free and open to the public, the exhibition runs through February 2016.

“Grand Illusion” will show how designers create their magic, with a behind-the-scenes look at scenic design, from the Baroque courts of Europe to the Broadway venues of New York and the soundstages of Hollywood. Items in the exhibition are drawn from the Library’s unparalleled theatrical design collections.

The exhibition features the work of designers—such as Florence Klotz, Oliver Smith, Tony Walton and Douglas Schmidt—relating to the musical stage productions of “Show Boat,” “My Fair Lady,” “Grand Hotel” and “Over Here.” On display are designs for the silver screen by Smith and Walton for “Guys and Dolls” and “Mary Poppins” and those produced for the dramatic stage, including Orson Welles’ highly imaginative costumes for “Dr. Faustus.”

“Grand Illusion” includes finished renderings, works in progress, technical drawings and designer’s research materials supporting the development of the look, feel and movement of a production.

Selections from the Library’s exhibition, displayed in its James Madison Memorial Building from Feb. 12, 2015, to July 25, 2015, can be viewed here.

The Library of Congress Music Division, with more than 21 million items, holds the world's largest music collection. Particular areas of strength include opera (scores and librettos), stage and screen musicals, chamber music, jazz and American popular song. The Music Division is home to approximately 600 archival collections, most of them the personal papers (including music scores as well as correspondence, photographs, legal and financial documents, programs, clippings and other materials) documenting the lives and careers of stellar composers and performers. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 160 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at


PR 15-141
ISSN 0731-3527