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Christina Giannini Collection of Design Drawings

 Collection
Identifier: MC-0026

Scope and Contents

The Christina Giannini Collection of Design Drawings consists of design drawings and paintings, primarily costume designs for dance and theatrical stage productions, and also including several stage design drawings. Many items include multiple designs on a single page, and often include attached fabric swatches indicating materials to be used in the costumes. Also included in the collection are design notes, stage design scale drawings, photographs, production posters and programs, correspondence and paperwork regarding design projects, resumes, portfolios, and awards. Also included are magazines, articles, and performance programs not related to Giannini's design projects, as well as material related to Giannini's travels.

The collection includes designs for performances by a wide variety of dance and stage companies from around the United States and the world, including the North Carolina School of the Arts, Agnes de Mille Heritage Dance Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Repertory Ballet, Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, Ballet Florida, Ballet Internacional de Caracas, Chautauqua Institution, Harlem Opera Theater, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Joffrey Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, State Street Ballet, and numerous others.

Dates

  • 1946-2019
  • Majority of material found within 1962-2019

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Archives collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information which is protected under federal or state privacy laws, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina School of the Arts assume no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Antonietta Christina Stia Giannini was born in 1937 in New Jersey, and later attended the Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University, graduating in 1959 with a degree in English and Dramatic Arts. She conducted postgraduate work in Scenic, Costume, and Lighting Design at the Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts in Birmingham, England, and later studied at the Lester Polakov Studio of Stage Design in New York, New York, and the International Opera Studio in Zurich, Switzerland, serving as apprentice to set designer Max Röthlisberger.

When the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) opened in 1965, Giannini was invited by her uncle, Vittorio Giannini, to serve as the school's first resident costumer. In addition to teaching courses in costume design, she created costumes and scenery for numerous dance, drama, and opera productions at NCSA, including costumes for NCSA's first production of The Nutcracker in 1966, and scene designs for the 1967 production. She also designed costumes and scenery for productions staged by the North Carolina Dance Theatre and the Agnes de Mille Heritage Dance Theatre, both affiliate companies of NCSA.

Giannini has worked primarily as a freelance designer for a wide variety of companies and productions around the country and world. She has also served as a resident designer for the Ohio Ballet, Spoleto Festival USA, Playhouse in the Park, Philadelphia, and the Chautauqua Institution.

Noted for her early adoption of Lycra in dance costumes, many of Giannini’s designs feature custom-dyed and hand-painted elements. She has won three awards from the Premio Nacional del Artista (Venezuelan Oscars) for Design, an Italian International Dance Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, the Richmond Ballet Lifetime Achievement Award for the Support of Dance, and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

Giannini continues to design new productions and is based in New York, New York.

Extent

72.8 Linear Feet (18 document boxes, 36 oversize boxes, 2 framed items, 2 bound volumes, 8 video tapes, 16 computer disks, 5 awards)

Language of Materials

English

Spanish; Castilian

French

Chinese

Korean

Japanese

German

Abstract

The Christina Giannini Collection of Design Drawings consists of design drawings and paintings, primarily costume designs for dance and theatrical stage productions, and also including stage design drawings. Also included in the collection are design notes, stage design scale drwaings, photographs, production posters and programs, and correspondence and paperwork regarding design projects. In addition, the collection includes resumes, portfolios, and awards, as well as material related to Giannini's travels.

Arrangement

The collection has been organized into three series: Series 1. Costume Designs and Production Materials; Series 2: Awards, Ephemera, and General Information; and Series 3: Travel Materials.

Items in Series 1 are organized alphabetically by company and performance, with materials from unidentified companies and/or performances held last. Items in Series 2 are organized by content, with material unrelated to Giannini's work held last. Material in Series 3 are organized by location.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Christina Giannini in 2019 and 2021.

Related Materials

Material related to many of the NCSA and North Carolina Dance Theatre performances represented can be found in the Program Collection (RG-0045), the Photograph Colleciton (RG-0024), and the North Carolina Dance Theatre Collection (MC-0002).

A collection of Giannini's designs for the Ohio Ballet can be found in the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at the Ohio State University.

Processing Information

Titles and descriptive information derived from notes on objects, original enclosures, and notes from donor where available, with additional information filled in or corrected by the archivist. Loose or bulky fabric swatches were removed from drawings and housed separately. Drawings and photographs originally housed in albums were removed for preservation purposes. Items with sensitive personal information, such as addresses, contact information, or financial information, were redacted or removed. Materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Title
Guide to the Christina Giannini Collection of Design Drawings
Status
Completed
Author
Kait Dorsky with assistance from Annika Low.
Date
October 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the UNC School of the Arts Archives Repository

Contact:
1533 South Main St.
Winston-Salem North Carolina 27104 United States