William Ivey Long: Costume designs 2007-2016

September 23, 2017 - June 3, 2018

Mint Museum Uptown


Exploring the theatrical costume designer’s work from 2007 to today, this exhibition ranges from ‘Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ to the television specials ‘Grease Live!’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.’

North Carolina native William Ivey Long is one of the most renowned theatrical costume designers working today. This exhibition, organized by The Mint Museum, explores Long’s most recent work, from 2007 to today. It features the theatrical productions The Lost Colony (redesigned 2007–2008), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (2013), Little Dancer (2014), and On the Twentieth Century (2015), as well as the television specials Grease Live! (2016), and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (2016). Focusing on Long’s process, it features sketches, swatches, mood boards, and other preparatory materials in addition to the costumes themselves. Because costume design is not an area in which the Mint collects, it provides visitors with exposure to this form of art and allow for comparison of the different goals of theatrical costume and fashion. The exhibition is co-curated by Annie Carlano and Rebecca Elliot. It is accompanied by a scholarly and lavishly illustrated book.

Born in Raleigh in 1947, Long was raised in the world of the theater. His father, a technical director and professor, founded the theater program at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. His mother, an actress, taught high school theater for twenty-one years. His brother and sister also work in theater; during summers in their childhood, the entire Long family worked on the outdoor drama The Lost Colony at Manteo, North Carolina. After graduating high school in Rock Hill, Long earned a degree in history at the College of William and Mary. He then began graduate training in Renaissance art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but later transferred to the Yale School of Drama at Yale University, where he earned an MFA in set design in 1975. Long subsequently moved to New York, where he worked as an assistant to the couturier Charles James during the last three years of his life. He has received Tony Awards for Nine (1982), Crazy for You (1992), The Producers (2001), Hairspray (2003), Grey Gardens (2006), and most recently, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (2013). In addition to Broadway productions, Long has designed costumes for hundreds of other projects, including operas, dance performances, films, television shows, and the entertainers Siegfried and Roy.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016 is presented to the Charlotte community with generous support from Wells Fargo Private Bank. Additional corporate support provided by J.P. Morgan and Novant Health. Also made possible by substantial contributions from the Mint Museum Auxiliary and Friends of William Ivey Long. Exhibition organized by The Mint Museum.

Friends of Fashion

  • Marty and Weston Andress
  • Kelle and Len Botkin
  • Ansley and John Calhoun
  • Betsy Fleming and Edward Weisiger
  • Laura and Michael Grace
  • James and Beverly Hance, Jr.
  • Liz and Aubrey Hilliard
  • Kelly and Rick Hopkins
  • Dr. A. Davis Ligon, Jr.
  • Ashley and Scott Mattei
  • Samantha and Mark McCall
  • Posey and Mark Mealy
  • Maria and Jeff Owen
  • Courtney and Casey Rogers
  • Paige and Art Roselle
  • Jane and Nelson Schwab
  • Bobbie and Thad Sharrett
  • Kati and Chris Small
  • Ann and Michael Tarwater
  • Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach
  • Jenny and Henry Ward
  • Jerri and Mark Webb
  • Jennifer and Eric Webber
  • Margaret and Ward Williams

Friends of William Ivey Long

Katie and Wynn Charlebois
Lisa and Carlos Evans
James and Beverly Hance, Jr.
Noelle and Mark Mahoney
Renee and Hugh McColl III
Susanne and Bill McGuire, Jr.
Ulrike and Alex Miles
Jo Ann and Joddy Peer
Susan and Sam Rankin
Paige and Art Roselle
Leigh-ann and Martin Sprock
Allison Sprock
Ann and Michael Tarwater
Debi and Bill Timmerman, Jr.
Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach