Guide to the Wolfgang Roth Collection, 1910-1960s 

AR 6293

Processed by Julie Dawson

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2012 Leo Back Institute, New York. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Finding aid encoded in EAD 2002 by Timothy Ryan Mendenhall on 2012-03-15. Finding aid written in English.
July 11, 2012  Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Creator:Roth, Wolfgang, 1910-1988
Title:Wolfgang Roth Collection
Abstract:The collection is primarily made up of photographs from circa 1930s-1950s of family, friends, and colleagues of the set designer Wolfgang Roth.
Languages:This collection is in German and English.
Quantity:7 folders
Identification:AR 6293
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute Archives
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Biographical Note

Wolfgang Roth was born in 1910 in Berlin. In the 1930s he was active in the caberet scene and worked with Erwin Piscator and Berthold Brecht, among others, as a set designer. In the mid-thirties he moved to Vienna and from there to Switzerland. Eventually he emigrated to New York where he continued to work in the field of set design including for productions on Broadway and Metropolitan and New York City opera houses. He also created paintings, sculptures, and others works of art and was an accomplished guitarist and singer, recording 2 albums of early German folk songs for Smithsonian Records. He was married to Lee Roth who also died in 1988.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection is primarily made up of photographs from circa 1930s-1950s of family, friends, and colleagues of the set designer Wolfgang Roth.

Folder one contains a copy of a reference letter written by Erwin Piscator and a letter written by Roth to Mayor LaGuardia. Folder two likewise contains correspondence, in this case picture postcards sent to Roth featuring views of European cities and portraits of stage actors. The scrapbook in folder 3 created by Roth when he was in his teens and early twenties is of particular interest, both for its content which showcases not just Roths life from childhood to adulthood but also the milieu of the theater scene in Berlin in Vienna during the 1920s and early 1930s. The scrapbook is also notable for its artistic design, incorporating a few elements of Bauhaus and Neue Sachlichkeit aesthetics. The bulk of the photographs are not inscribed but many are of his brothers and other friends such as the actress Maria Schanda and actor Ernst Ginsberg. In the final folder are some images, both orignal photographs and periodical clippings, which showcase some of Roth's stage designs.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Related Material

See also Roth's memoir Hängt alles von der Beleuchtung ab... 1910-1982 in the Memoir Collection, ME 315

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Wolfgang Roth Collection; AR 6293; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Follow the links to access the digitized materials.


Container list:

11Identification, emigration and miscellaneous personal documents1910-1943
12Postcards to Wolfgang Roth1930s-1941
13Scrapbook created by Roth with photographs of friends and family1926-circa 1934
14Photographs and drawing of Wolfgang Rothundated
15Photographs of friends, family, trip to east/west coast of the United States1930s-1960s
16Photographs used to create a montage and montage draftsundated
17Clippings and photographs of set designs and theater postersundated
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