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The Scenography of Josef Svoboda
Jarka. Burian

Available only as an ebook.

Wesleyan Open Books

1974 • 224 pp. 202 illus. 7 1/2 x 10"
Theater & Performing Arts / Design

$0.00 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7785-6

Open access - no commercial use
Click Open Access at right to check availability.

When there appears a masterful analysis of a master artist’s work, there is cause for celebration. Publication of The Scenography of Josef Svoboda is such... [continued in Reviews below]”—Ned Bowman, Theatre Design and Technology

Josef Svoboda (1920-2002) was one of the most innovative designers in twentieth century theatre. This book is a remarkable study of his works and his career, and includes an analysis of some 60 key productions along with over 200 black and white photographs. Jarka Burian provides a biographical and critical essay on Svoboda, along with background on the Czech theatre, the milieu in which Svoboda developed. The heart of the book is in the detailed, professional considerations of some sixty key productions, described largely in Svoboda’s own words. Burian has carefully, artfully used over 200 photographs to reinforce the expication of the development of Svoboda’s methods. Svoboda’s scenography emerges as total design, a synthesis of traditional methods and technical innovations that provides a dynamic atmosphere as well as the physical setting. Two appendices include a selection of Svoboda’ s original sketches and a complete annotated listing of all Svoboda’s productions. Burian’s study was the first book in English on this enormously influential European designer and remains an important document of theatre arts.

Reviews / Endorsements

“When there appears a masterful analysis of a master artist’s work, there is cause for celebration. Publication of The Scenography of Josef Svoboda is such an event, and I celebrate it…Of the books to appear on Svoboda, indeed on any stage designer in years, Burian’s is unquestionably the most careful in its scholarship, the most astute in its criticism, and the most attractive publication job.” Ned Bowman, Theatre Design and Technology

“The only full-length study in English of one of today’s most important designers; destined to become the standard work on Svoboda…gives western readers their first in-depth view of a man who is possibly the greatest working designer in contemporary theater and which also gives a clear insight into the recent innovative Czechoslovakian theatre that nurtured his development. Any serious student of theater history or production will find informative and inspirational value in this long-awaited study.” Choice

JARKA BURIAN is a professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Albany.

An NEH / Mellon Humanities Open Book Grant Recipient


Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:28:49 -0500