Peter Wexler papers

MS 338
Artwork titled Ladies by Peter Wexler

Characters conceived for Les Troyens, Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, New York City; Pencil, Acrylic and Watercolor on Brown Paper, 24 1/2" H x 36" W

Collection area: Performing Arts

Collection dates: 1965-ongoing

About this collection

The collection documents Peter Wexler's professional activity from 1967 to the present. The materials have been gathered into three series: Papers, Artwork, and Models. The center of the collection is the Artwork series that consists of large, blueprint size, mechanical drawings of floorplans and elevations of scenery for concerts, films, industrial shows, multi-media events, and theatrical productions.

The bulk of the Papers series supports Peter Wexler and Peter Wexler Inc. projects in the Artwork series. The Papers series includes correspondence with clients and vendors, scripts, scores, and cue sheets, research, visual research through photos and photocopies. Correspondences include those with important persons in the field of Opera, Theatre and entertainment. The collection is inclusive of designs and artwork for original productions such as Godspell.

Historical background

Peter John Wexler was born to S. David and Berda (Sarnoff) Wexler in New York City, 31 October 1936. He married Constance Ann Ross, 30 November 1962. Peter Wexler's early education was in the New York Public School system. In 1958, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Design from the University of Michigan School of Architecure. That same year he enrolled as a student in the Yale School of Drama. He received early training in scenery painting early in his career at the Cleveland Playhouse in Chautauqua, New York and Chautauqua Opera Association, New York. Mr. Wexler's professional affiliations include the United Scenic Artists, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, and the United States Institute of Theatre and Technology.

Mr. Wexler's designs and artworks range from interior design for individual persons to grand scale multimedia events. His works include, but are not limited to, projects for the following theatres and organizations: Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles; New York Philharmonic; Metropolitan Opera; Pittsburgh Public Theatre; Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Smithsonian Institute; Trammell Crow Company; Arizona Theatre Company; Trans-Hudson Ferry, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; National Symphony Orchestra; and the United States Navy. His creative work extends to genres such as film and television. In these genres, Mr. Wexler has contributed to such films as: Andy, 1965; Happy Time, 1967; Camino Real, 1970; The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, 1973; and Les Troyens, 1973. His television credits include: The Merv Griffin show; Life Med, cable; and the Cleo Awards Ceremony. Mr. Wexler has also lectured and or taught at the University of Michigan, State University of New York and Binghamton, and the University of Arizona.

Awards include: ANTA-ITI "War and Peace" competition award winner, Spring 1965; Drama Desk and Joseph Maharam Awards 1968; Tony (Antoinette Perry) Award nominee 1968; Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award, 1971 and 1972.

Information for this biographical sketch has been compiled from the collection itself as well as the following publications which have included Peter John Wexler among the notable people in America and in his field:

Biography Index. Vol. 10: September, 1973 - August, 1976. (New York: H. W. Wilson Co., 1977.) Blue Book. Leaders of the English Speaking World. 1976 Edition. (London: St. James Press; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1976. Two volume reprint by Gale Research, Detroit, 1979.) Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television. vols. 5 and 6. (Detroit: Gale Research, 1988 - 1989.) Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia . (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1987.) Notable Names in the American Theatre. (Clifton, NJ: James T. White and Co., 1976.) Who's Who in the Theatre. 16th and 17th editions. (London: Pitman Publishing; Detroit: Gale Research, 1977, 1981.) Who's Who in America. 38th and 49th editions. (Wilmette, IL: Marquis Who's Who , 1974, 1995.)

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