Watercolor costume sketch by Lemuel Ayers for the musical, St. Louis Woman

Image for Watercolor costume sketch by Lemuel Ayers for the musical, St. Louis Woman
Created by
Ayers, Lemuel, American, 1915 - 1955
Subject of
Hale, Gwendolyn
watercolor, graphite and ink on paper with cloth, adhesive tape and metal staples
H x W: 12 x 9 5/8 in. (30.5 x 24.4 cm)
design drawings
A watercolor sketch by Lemuel Ayers of a costume for the musical "St. Louis Woman", as performed in 1946. This costume is for the character "Girl #4" performed by Gwendolyn Hale. At the center of the sheet of paper is a light sketch in pencil painted over in watercolor of a woman wearing a pink dress with a patterned full length skirt, a white patterned bodice with a high collar and bow at the waist, pink sleeves in a leg of mutton style (very full at the shoulder and narrow from elbow to wrist), with a pink hat with yellow brim decorated with flowers and a bow. The woman is wearing black shoes and is holding a black parasol in her left hand. Behind the figure of the woman are some lightly painted lines indicating a fence and boardwalk. At the upper left hand corner, in ink, is handwritten [Sk. #92]. Stapled to the upper right corner is an index card with handwriting at the top, in ink: [Sk 92/ Girl #4]. Below the writing, one (1) swatch of pink fabric is stapled and glued. Other swatches of fabric are missing. Next to the swatch and the spaces where the missing swatches previously were attached are notes, handwritten in ink, indicating where in the costume each fabric is used. At the bottom of this piece of paper is handwritten in graphite: [M? 3-3827]. On the verso of the index card are written additional details about fabrics and costume specifications. At the bottom left corner, handwritten in graphite, is: [Hale]. At the bottom right corner is the text handwritten in black ink: [GIRL #4] and below that written in brown ink: [Butterfly [struck through] / Race Scene]. On the verso is another piece of paper that has been both stapled to the main sketch and taped with adhesive tape, with text providing instructions as to how many yards are needed of each type of fabric. The sketch is stamped with a United Scenic Artists stamp and signed on verso, lower right corner, in graphite: [L. Ayers].
African American
Costume design
Musical Theatre
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture

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