Name and location of repository
Level of description
- 1926 - 1970 (Accumulation)
Name of creator
George A. McFadden showed an early interest in design when, as a teenager, he created a mechanical store display featuring an Eskimo drinking for his parents’ drug store in Maine. Later he attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where he studied design, particularly theater design. There he also met his wife Alyce, a costume designer who worked with him throughout his career.
Throughout his life McFadden pursued varied interests, as a jeweler, a metalsmith, and a creator of mechanical devices used by clowns in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. He was also a faculty member at Emerson College from 1930-1931, during which time he served as the art director for several plays presented by Emerson’s Children’s Theater Company.
His designs included sets for the Boston Stage Society, the Brattle Theater, the Wharf Players in Provincetown, and the Repertory Theater, as well as window displays for such department stores as Filene’s and Jordan Marsh. Some of his store displays are still used in Boston.
After his retirement in the 1970s, McFadden began fixing and making clocks in his Winchester, MA home. While he worked with conventional clocks, he also made whimsical cuckoo clocks with quirky takes on traditional themes, some of which are now on display at local museums such as the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library located in Lexington, MA.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
One of the original containers was kept as an example of how the collection was originally housed.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Some materials may be subject to copyright. No part of the materials protected by copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the copyright holder. Researchers are required to seek permission from the copyright holder to reproduce and/or publish materials under copyright.
Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: [Container number], [Folder Title], George McFadden Costume and Set Design Clippings Collection, Emerson College Archives, Emerson College, Boston, MA.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Subject access points
- Advertising, Magazine
- Advertising, Newspaper
- Block Printing
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
- Clothing and dress
- Clothing and dress--Foreign influences
- Costume Design
- Greeting Cards
- Magazine covers
- Petty Girl
- Show Windows--Design
- Theater - Massachusetts - Boston
- Theater--Stage-setting and scenery
- Set designers