It is the primary mission of the Robert Wilson Archive to document the artistic career of Robert Wilson. Administered by the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation in New York, New York, the Archive collects, organizes, preserves, describes, and provides access to these documentary materials, including photographs, papers, and video recordings.
Overview The nucleus of the Archive is currently housed at the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation's New York office. The Robert Wilson Archive comprises:
- Over 30,000 photographs and slides from Wilson's productions
- Four hundred linear feet of printed materials, program books, and ephemera directly related to Wilson's productions
- Wilson's production files, rehearsal notes, and sketches
- A humanities library consisting of over 9,000 bound volumes on subjects ranging from contemporary and tribal art, furniture design, and literature (housed at The Watermill Center)
Rights, Permissions, & Loans The Archive does not lend photographs or administer reproduction rights for photographs. With few exceptions, all materials in the Archive are for research purposes only. Publishing rights reside with their respective photographers. The Archive staff can assist researchers and press representatives in obtaining these rights by providing names and contact information for photographers.
Temporary loans of video documentation of Robert Wilson productions are administered on a case-by-case basis. Parties requesting such material are responsible for any costs incurred for duplication services, including shipping to and from Foundation offices.
Public access to the Robert Wilson Archive is currently administered by a professional staff and is open to qualified researchers on a rolling basis. Appointments can be made by contacting the Archive directly by any of the means below or by filling out this form.
The Robert Wilson Archive
115 West 29th Street, 10th Floor
New York, New York 10001
Generally, appointments must be made at least two weeks in advance. A $50 optional donation per research day to the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation is suggested. When contacting the Archive staff to make an appointment, please provide as much information regarding the nature of your research as possible, including a list of specific productions or areas of interest.
Other holdings The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation has donated a substantial collection of records to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University. These Columbia materials now form the Robert Wilson Papers and document much of Wilson's work from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s.
The Robert Wilson Papers
Rare Book and Manuscripts Library
New York, New York 10027
+1 (212) 854-8480
The collection is open to the public.
In 2004, the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation made a gift of several hundred videotapes, filmstrips, and audio recordings to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. This collection contains some of the finest examples of Wilson's rehearsal process and staging workshops conducted at the Watermill Center, as well as complete recordings of both legendary and little known productions. The collection spans from 1970 to the present and includes such works as Deafman Glance, The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin, the CIVIL warS, A Letter for Queen Victoria, Einstein on the Beach, The Magic Flute, Madama Butterfly, Parsifal, and Salome, among others.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Billy Rose Theater on Film and Tape Archive & Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound
40 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, New York 10023
+1 (212) 870-1630
This collection is open to qualified researchers only.
The Robert Wilson Archive is supported by generous contributions from Robert W. Wilson and anonymous donors and foundation support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Delmas Foundation.