Edward Gordon Craig

Scene for "The Hour Glass"

1913
The son of actress Ellen Terry and architect E.W. Godwin, it seems Craig was wired to be a visionary theatre director and set designer. Introduced to wood engraving in the 1890s, he went on to produce over 250 prints, devoted almost exclusively to giving visual form to his ideas about performance and stage settings. Craig's insistence on a guiding vision through directorial control and his notion of the "Theatre of the Future" clearly owed much to Richard Wagner's idea of theatre as "Gesamtkunstwerk," or total work of art, where the visual aspects of set design and staging are harmonized with the music and overall production. William Butler Yeats admired Craig as a designer and commissioned his innovative "screen" sets for "The Hour Glass" performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in 1911. The play is inspired by Irish legend and pits wisdom against folly in a meditation on time and mortality.
Title
Scene for "The Hour Glass"
Date
1913
Medium
Print
Materials
woodcut on laid japan paper
Dimensions
11.2 x 16.8 cm; image: 5.9 x 14.3 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1957
Accession number
7043