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Wolfgang Roth Collection

Identifier: AR 6293

Scope and Content Note

The collection is primarily made up of photographs from circa 1930s-1950s of family, friends, and colleagues of the set designer Wolfgang Roth.

Folder one contains a copy of a reference letter written by Erwin Piscator and a letter written by Roth to Mayor LaGuardia. Folder two likewise contains correspondence, in this case picture postcards sent to Roth featuring views of European cities and portraits of stage actors. The scrapbook in folder 3 created by Roth when he was in his teens and early twenties is of particular interest, both for its content which showcases not just Roths life from childhood to adulthood but also the milieu of the theater scene in Berlin in Vienna during the 1920s and early 1930s. The scrapbook is also notable for its artistic design, incorporating a few elements of Bauhaus and Neue Sachlichkeit aesthetics. The bulk of the photographs are not inscribed but many are of his brothers and other friends such as the actress Maria Schanda and actor Ernst Ginsberg. In the final folder are some images, both orignal photographs and periodical clippings, which showcase some of Roth's stage designs.


  • Creation: 1910-1960s


Language of Materials

This collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Wolfgang Roth was born in 1910 in Berlin. In the 1930s he was active in the caberet scene and worked with Erwin Piscator and Berthold Brecht, among others, as a set designer. In the mid-thirties he moved to Vienna and from there to Switzerland. Eventually he emigrated to New York where he continued to work in the field of set design including for productions on Broadway and Metropolitan and New York City opera houses. He also created paintings, sculptures, and others works of art and was an accomplished guitarist and singer, recording 2 albums of early German folk songs for Smithsonian Records. He was married to Lee Roth who also died in 1988.


7 Folders


The collection is primarily made up of photographs from circa 1930s-1950s of family, friends, and colleagues of the set designer Wolfgang Roth.

Related Material

See also Roth's memoir Hängt alles von der Beleuchtung ab... 1910-1982 in the Memoir Collection, ME 315

Guide to the Wolfgang Roth Collection, 1910-1960s  AR 6293
Processed by Julie Dawson
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • July 11, 2012 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States