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"Queen of Off-Broadway:" Lucille Lortel Collection Photographs 1902-1998

An appreciative selected collection of eighteen memorabilia photographs from the papers of Lucille Lortel (1900-1999), the woman regarded as the founder of Off-Broadway, the second wave of little theatre in America.

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Achille Volpe. Portrait of Lucille Lortel, ca.1920s. Digital ID: 484819 Achille Volpe. Portrait of Lucille Lortel, ca.1920s. Digital ID: 484819

Collection History

This very small, representative selection of photographs originally served to illustrate the electronic finding aid for the Lucille Lortel Papers, and to show the range of Miss Lortel's career. Numbering in the thousands, the photographs in her collection fill 26 boxes (10.7 linear feet) and document all aspects of her personal and professional life.


The 26 boxes of photographs include production photographs of plays Miss Lortel produced at the White Barn Theatre, portraits, photographs of her own stage career and also personal family photographs. The collection reflects her various professional activities, including productions and events at the Theatre de Lys (later the Lucille Lortel Theatre), the Lucille Lortel Awards, and the formation of the Lucille Lortel Theatre Gallery at the Museum of the City of New York. The files also document other theatres, organizations and theater-related events that Miss Lortel was associated with during her career.

Related Resources

Greene, Alexis. Lucille Lortel: the Queen of Off Broadway (2004)

NYPL. "Guide to the Lucille Lortel Papers, 1902-2000" (2003) <>

Library Division(s)

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