Mr. Diaghilev Goes to Washington

Costume design by Leon Bakst for Vaslav Nijinsky in "Afternoon of a Faun" (1912)

Mark your calendars for May 12, when the National Gallery of Art welcomes the Ballets Russes on a massive scale.

The museum is reconstructing its gallery space to accommodate the largest pieces of art in its history. Standing beside the three-story backdrop from “The Firebird” or the Picasso-designed curtain for “Le Train Bleu” you’ll feel like a front-row ticket holder in a 20th-century opera house.

Other notable display pieces in Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music will include Vaslav Nijinsky’s costumes from “Giselle” and “Le Festin,” his earrings from “Scheherazade,” as well as costume and set designs, paintings, sculptures, film clips and original posters from performances.

Photo courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art




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