Costume preservation

Preserving The Threads to Our Past


Preserving The Threads to Our Past. Photo: MP+D

In winter 2015, with the financial help of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Museum of Performance + Design worked with a professional conservator to survey our 500-piece stage costume collection. In the process, we re-discovered costumes that had not been seen since their arrival at MP+D. We also learned that 3/4 of the costumes were in need of preservation and conservation treatment(s). On Sept 18, members from the Costume Society of America/Western Chapter donated 90 hours through its Angel Project towards collection care and the re-housing of 50+ costume pieces with archival supplies donated by Hollinger Metal Edge.







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Music Preservation

Preserving San Francisco's 20th c. Musical Landscape

In partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts


Louis Armstrong, The Standard Hour (1950)


Preserving San Francisco’s 20th c. Musical Landscape is an archival/engagement project that will preserve and make accessible for broad public access 234 linear feet of materials from five major 20th c. musical archives. The project will steward the musical legacy of key artists, critics and educators in San Francisco for generations to come as well as the musical identity of our city and its contributions to the field of music nationally and world-wide. The project will also bring attention to MP+D’s music holdings and expand its public reach with the creation of a new online music exhibit. 



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Archive activation

Archive Live

In collaboration with The Collected Works


Archive Live, Collected Works. Photo: MM

The Museum of Performance + Design collaborated with the San Francisco theater collective  Collected Works to develop and perform a new site-responsive dramatic performance based on texts, images and recordings from MP+D’s performing arts archive. The project brought together artists devoted to creating theatrical performances within non-traditional environments and a rare collection representing the rich history the San Francisco performing arts. The collaboration presented an innovative response to bringing an archive to life while redefining the boundaries of theater-making and dramaturgy. This project is funded in part by the Zellerbach Family Foundation and W & F Hewlett Foundation.