Jones, Robert Edmond

Jones, Robert Edmond,

1887–1954, American scene designer, b. Milton, N.H. With his design in 1915 for The Man Who Married a Dumb Wife, a new era of scene design began in the United States. His use of color and dramatic lighting enhanced his imaginative sets. Some of Jones's most notable designs were for Macbeth, Richard III, Hamlet (for John Barrymore), and The Green Pastures. After work with the Washington Square Players, he joined Kenneth Macgowan at the Greenwich Village Theatre; working in conjunction with the Provincetown Players, he created sets for the plays of Eugene O'Neill. Jones did the designing for the early three-color-process film La Cucaracha (1933). He wrote Drawings for the Theatre (1925), The Dramatic Imagination (1941), and, with Kenneth Macgowan, Continental Stagecraft (1922).


See The Theatre of Robert Edmond Jones (ed. by R. Pendleton, 1958).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Jones, Robert Edmond

(1887–1954) set designer, producer, director; born in Milton, N.H. Beginning in 1915 with his set design for The Man Who Married a Dumb Wife, he was in rebellion against the trend toward realism. Eliminating unnecessary detail, he created symbolic and expresionistic settings that were much admired. Critic John Mason Brown described him as a designer who understood "the poetry of the undecorated." In 1926 he both designed and directed The Great God Brown by Eugene O'Neill, whose early plays he worked on with the Provincetown Players and at the Greenwich Village Playhouse. He designed settings for productions of Shakespeare (Othello, 1937) as well as many modern plays. He was the coauthor with Kenneth Magowan of Continental Stagecraft in 1922.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.