Stage and Screen: Designs from the James L Gordon Collection

10 November 2023–25 February 2024
Hunterian Art Gallery
Admission free

Stage and Screen features works on paper from the James L Gordon Collection, on show in Scotland for the first time. Covering designs for both theatre and film, this visually engaging exhibition offers a rare glimpse into this unique personal collection of rich and diverse material.

With a few earlier exceptions, the James L Gordon collection comprises set and costume designs for British theatre productions from about 1900 to the 1990s, and British and American designs for film and television from the 1930s onwards. The designs are almost all two-dimensional: drawings, watercolours, paintings and collages, rather than three-dimensional models. The range of material is immense, embracing everything from Shakespeare to pantomime, opera to ballet, Hammer horror to Hollywood musicals and Doctor Who to the Eurovision Song Contest.

Spanning the whole of the 20th century, Stage and Screen includes works by leading artists such as Cecil Beaton and David Hockney and designs for famous productions including Oh! Calcutta!, Hair, Cats, Little Shop of Horrors and The Slab Boys. The exhibition also features costume designs for stars such as Rudolf Nureyev, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grace Jones.

Presented chronologically, by decade, the hundreds of works on display cover a wide range of social and cultural issues, highlighting the history of how they have been represented in the theatre and on screen.

As well as set designs by artists such as Patrick Caulfield, Edward Burra, Paul Nash and Rex Whistler, the exhibition also features costume designs for performers and musicians, often identifiable by the inscriptions or drawings, including Liza Minelli, Elton John, The Jackson Five, Mick Jagger and The Beatles.


  • Stage and Screen is at the Hunterian Art Gallery from 10 November 2023–25 February 2024.
  • Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am–5pm. Closed Monday. Please check our Opening Hours page before you visit.
  • Stage and Screen is in Gallery 2, located upstairs in the Hunterian Art Gallery. The space is fully accessible via lift. 
  • Back to Exhibition Programme.

DOWNLOAD Stage and Screen List of Works