Photographs, Posters, Artwork
A substantial collection of visual material consists of photos, performance posters, and artwork including paintings, drawings, prints, and other original work (Series 70, 76-78). Most posters and artworks are originals, while photographic prints may be originals or copies.
The Foundation holds a collection of over 3,000 photographic prints, negatives, and transparencies covering a broad range of subjects: portraits of Weill and Lenya from all stages of their lives; portraits of others with some connection to Weill or Lenya (collaborators, performers, friends); stage productions of Weill’s works before 1990 or so — the largest single category in the collection; Lenya’s performances of works by others; published and manuscript scores; posters; significant buildings and places; and many others. The Research Center also has a large number of digital image files in the form of scans of items in its collections or photographs provided by other institutions, primarily production photos. In many cases, it is possible to request permission to publish images in the Foundation’s collections.
Posters include original window cards from most of Weill’s Broadway shows (framed and hung on the walls) and theater posters from many post-1950 productions of Weill’s stage works, with most dating from after 1990. One-sheets, lobby cards, and press kits from Weill’s and Lenya’s films are also represented, along with festival, concert, and recording posters. The Research Center’s collection of visual art, composed primarily of paintings, drawings and prints, includes work by Arbit Blatas, Eberhard Dänzer, Russell Detwiler, Richard Ely, Josef Hegenbarth, Caspar Neher, Lotte Reiniger, Wolfgang Roth, and Rudolf Schönwald. The Research Center holds a number of three-dimensional objects, many of which belonged to Weill or Lenya. From Weill: a small zippered toolkit, two metronomes, a silver vase presented to him by the cast of One Touch of Venus, a briefcase, and several items of furniture such as a couch, desk and chair, and piano. From Lenya: her Tony Award medal (1956), a silver plate inscribed with part of the lyric of “Seeräuberjenny” presented to her by the Threepenny Opera cast, a lunchbox covered with a collage of photos presented to her by the cast of Cabaret, a Lenya marionette, and several articles of clothing, including a straw hat worn while taping a BBC program directed by Ken Russell and a dress worn during a television interview with Schuyler Chapin for PBS.