Stage and Screen Exhibition at The Hunterian

stage and screen

(image: Parick Caulfield, Party Game: design for back cloth, 1984. © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023.)

10 November 2023 until 25 February 2024


The Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, 82 Hillhead St, Glasgow G12 8QQ

A new exhibition opening at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, this November, presents a stunning selection of set and costume designs from a major private collection.

Stage and Screen features works on paper from the James L Gordon Collection, on show in Scotland for the first time. Covering designs for theatre, film and television, this visually engaging exhibition will offer a rare glimpse into this unique personal collection of rich and diverse material.

stage and screen the hunterian

With a few earlier exceptions, the James L Gordon collection comprises set and costume designs for British theatre productions from about 1900 to the 1990s, and British and American designs for film and television from the 1930s onwards. The designs are almost all two-dimensional: drawings, watercolours, paintings and collages, rather than three-dimensional models. The range of material is immense, embracing everything from Shakespeare to pantomime, opera to ballet, Hammer horror to Hollywood musicals and Doctor Who to the Eurovision Song Contest.

Spanning the whole of the 20th century, Stage and Screen includes works by leading artists such as Cecil Beaton and David Hockney and designs for famous productions including Oh! Calcutta!, Hair, Cats, Little Shop of Horrors and The Slab Boys. The exhibition also features costume designs for stars such as Rudolf Nureyev, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grace Jones.

Presented chronologically, by decade, the hundreds of works on display cover a wide range of social and cultural issues, highlighting the history of how they have been represented in the theatre and on screen.

As well as set designs by artists such as Patrick Caulfield, Edward Burra and Rex Whistler, the exhibition also features costume designs for performers and musicians, often instantly recognisable, including Liza Minelli, Elton John, The Jackson Five, Mick Jagger and The Beatles.

John Byrne The Slab Boys

John Byrne, The Slab Boys: costume design for Lucille, 1978. © John Byrne. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023.

James L Gordon is originally from Scotland and his outstanding collection includes a strong representation of Scottish artists and designers including Peter Howson and John Byrne. Another outstanding living artist featured is John Macfarlane, who trained at the Glasgow School of Art and has since established an international reputation as a designer of opera and ballet.


John Macfarlane, Bländwerk: costume design for Matamore, 1995. © John Macfarlane.

James L Gordon had a distinguished career in interior design, working on the interiors of the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2, the Carlton Hotel in Cannes and the Café de la Paix in Paris. His impressive collection began by chance, thanks to an impulse purchase of a Cecil Beaton costume design for the 1969 Broadway musical Coco, based on the life of fashion designer Coco Chanel. This first purchase of a work of art started a passion for collecting that he has pursued for over forty years. The result is a collection that now comprises about 5000 works, which have strong personal appeal for him.

This huge variety is certain to delight anyone with an interest in the world of entertainment and performance.

Stage and Screen is at the Hunterian Art Gallery from 10 November 2023 until 25 February 2024. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00am until 5.00pm. Entry is free.

Preview at The Hunterian Thursday 9 November – Book Tickets at EventBrite

Twitter @hunterian
Facebook @HunterianGlasgow
Instagram hunterianglasgow

Winter Wonderland Ashton Lane 2023
Acquire - Heart and Music, Woodside Halls

This section: Art & artists Glasgow West End, Art, Photography, Exhibitions what's on-glasgow, Pat's Home Page Blog, What's On Glasgow West End: cinema, clubs, theatre, music, events, festivals, community and more

Written by :

Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

Comments are closed.

Copyright Glasgow Westend 2009 thru 2017

Contact Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End | About Pat Byrne | Privacy Policy | Design by Jim Byrne Website Design