Donald Oenslager collection of Edward Gordon Craig, 1898-1967.

Collection Data

The Donald Oenslager Collection of Edward Gordon Craig is an artificial collection containing correspondence and artwork created by the noted theatrical designer and graphic artist, Edward Gordon Craig. These materials were collected by Craig’s colleague, Donald Oenslager. Oenslager, an American stage designer and longtime faculty member of the Yale School of Drama, often claimed Craig to be one of the chief influences on his own work. The majority of the correspondence in the collection dates from 1945-1963 and is primarily from Craig to his friend, Ewald Junge, who often helped him to generate an income by arranging for the sale of prints, books, and other items from Craig’s personal collection and performing other personal favors. A good deal of the material in this segment of Oenslager’s collection of Edward Gordon Craig was obtained by Oenslager through Junge. Another, smaller set of correspondence in the Donald Oenslager Collection of Edward Gordon Craig is between Oenslager and Junge (as well as other collectors and dealers) and relates mainly to the acquisition of the prints included in the collection. Also forming part of this collection are two sets of index card files, which catalog individual items in Oenslager’s collection. As can be seen from these indices, Oenslager’s collection of Edward Gordon Craig was quite extensive and some of the materials described in the catalogs may have been dispersed following Oenslager’s death in 1975. Few of the prints contained in this collection are accounted for in the indices and most appear to have been acquired by Oenslager in the period just before Craig’s death in 1966. Well-represented in the collection are many early “black figure” wood engravings, as well as varying versions of the Hamlet blocks to which Craig returned repeatedly throughout his career. Also included among the prints are illustrations for an edition of Robinson Crusoe, a project that never found a publisher. Some portion of the Craig material collected by Oenslager that is not in the present collection can be found at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The current location of other Craig material that may be cited in the card indices is unknown.
Oenslager, Donald, 1902-1975 (Collector)
Craig, Edward Gordon, 1872-1966 (Artist)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1898 - 1967
Library locations
Billy Rose Theatre Division
Shelf locator: *T-Mss 1976-007
Physical Description
Extent: 4.5 linear ft. (8 boxes)
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b16093411
MSS Unit ID: 21739
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): e918b480-c6bc-012f-a53c-3c075448cc4b
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