City Life Org – Extensive collection of theatrical photography by Joan Marcus and Carol Rosegg now available to the public at the Library for the Performing Arts

Photo: Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Combined Collection represents some of the most important American stage photography of the past 40 years

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce that the Billy Rose Theater Division has made the archives of Joan Marcus and Carol Rosegg available to the public. The work collected by the eminent theater photographers was acquired in 2018. It represents one of the largest digital photography acquisitions ever made by the Library.

Marcus and Rosegg, close friends who shared a studio running side businesses for two decades, captured footage of the majority of Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning productions in New York and across the country since 1980, and shot Hundreds of studio and location portraits of actors and other theater artists.

Marcus began his career photographing productions at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, as well as other theaters in the nation’s capital. After moving to New York in 1992, she began working on Broadway and in major institutional theaters in the city. Some of the original Broadway productions in her collection, and for which she is best known, include Angels in America, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, RENT and Hamilton.

Rosegg started as Martha Swope’s assistant at the height of Swope’s career. Michael Bennett, George Balanchine, Bob Fosse, Martha Graham were all alive and working – Swope photographed them all and Rosegg became part of that theater history. Throughout her time with Swope, Rosegg toured solo theater companies such as the New York City Opera, Vineyard Theatre, Irish Repertory Theatre, from Broadway to one-act festivals, tours and Broadway productions. Rosegg established his own practice in 1994.

The acquisition of these two archives continues the Billy Rose Theater Division’s tradition of collecting theater photography, maintaining its position as one of the largest collections of such material in the world. The division holds archives of theatrical photographs dating from Lucas White from the 1910s, Vandamm, Friedman-Abeles, Kenn Duncan and Martha Swope.

In a public program on September 12 at the Library for the Performing Arts, Joan Marcus and Carol Rosegg will speak with Roma Torre about their 30 years of documenting theater.

An exhibition at the Performing Arts Library highlighting selections from the work is planned for 2024.

About Joan Marcus
Joan Marcus is one of the preeminent theatrical photographers working in the United States today. Over the past 40 years, she has photographed over 500 shows on and off Broadway and across the region. She began her career in Washington, DC, printing photographs for the Photographer at the Kennedy Center where she realized performing arts photography was her calling. She honed her filming skills at the Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, Wooly Mammoth as well as the Kennedy Center before moving to New York. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Marcus is a graduate of George Washington University. In 2014, she received a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre.

About Carol Rosegg
Carol Rosegg grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas. After attending Tufts University, she moved to New York in the late 1970s. Rosegg helped Martha Swope photograph Broadway shows, as well as dance companies and press opportunities. Swope became Rosegg’s mentor, teacher and friend and opened the door to his career. Since then, she has photographed extensively in New York and at many regional businesses. She has covered all types of theatre, from children’s theater, including ArtsPower and Making Books Sing, to educational institutions, like Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University, to numerous Off and Off Off Broadway companies. , such as Vineyard, Irish Rep, Theater Breaking Through Boundaries and York Theater Company.

About the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Located at Lincoln Center, the Library for the Performing Arts has one of the most extensive performing arts collections in the world. The library is an archive of dance, theatre, music and recorded sound, and our nearly eight million archive items date back to the 11th century and include the hair of Ludwig Beethoven, the nibbled pencils of Clara Schuman , a 15th century dance treatise by dance master Guglielmo d’Ebreo da Pesaro, pointe shoes by Anna Pavlova, the original model from In the Heights and the archives of many masters including Bill T. Jones, Hal Prince, Jerome Robbins, Arturo Toscanini and many more.


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