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Academy Award-winning costume designer Ann Roth’s sketches exhibited in Hanover

Former Hanoverian Ann Roth’s photograph is seen next to a sketch from ‘The English Patient.’ She earned an Oscar for her costume work in that film. The Hanover (Pa.) Area Historical Society displayed some of Roth’s sketches in March, 2009, at the Warehime-Myers Mansion in Hanover. Background posts: York County continuing ed classes offered for matures who love to learn and Cameron Mitchell, Craig Sheffer, Dixie Chick born here and Young Alan Alda performed along the Codorus? Researcher checking that out.


The Hanover Area Historical Society has exhibited sketches by famed costume designer Ann Roth.
In so doing, the society took a step the 20-something historical groups throughout York County should emulate: Embrace popular culture as part of the historical enterprise.
Communities throughout York County have produced dozens of celebrities… .

Hanover Area Historical Society President James E. Schuman shows Ann Roth’s ‘Song of Norway’ sketches.
In addition to Roth, mystery writer Rita Mae Brown, Madame Butterfly’s John Luther Long and sports figures Al Bemiller, Jim Spencer, Robert Rohrbaugh and Pat Flaherty are just a few of the celebrities who have Hanover links. (Click here for others from Hanover and here for celebrities from elsewhere in York County.)
People are enamored with celebrities, and they would come to an exhibit where they could see the stars.
Hey, famous people from York County’s towns are part of its history.
Here’s a Hanover Evening Sun story on the exhibit (2/28/09):

When she came to the Warehime-Myers Mansion to help set up an exhibit of some of her drawings, Academy Award-winning costume designer and Hanover native Ann Roth had specific instructions for how the sketches and cloth swatches should be displayed.
She had some of them laid out on a table in the Lady’s Parlor of the mansion, owned and operated by the Hanover Area Historical Society. She told those overseeing the exhibit, which runs through the end of March at the mansion at Baltimore and Hanover streets, that she wanted people to pick them up and look at them.
“They’re working documents,” she said. “Very much like an architect’s blue prints.”
She said the renderings are meant for her, the director and those in the tailoring shop that constructs the costumes. They get handed around. And sometimes at the end of the day, when a little wine is sipped while talking over a particular design, the sketches can get dirty.
“Then there’s a ring of wine on the page,” she said. “They’re not a precious document.”
The historical society organized the small exhibit of sketches from about 20 movies on which Roth has worked. She’s been nominated for and won a host of awards for her work, including an Oscar for “The English Patient.”
Sketches on display include designs for that movie as well as films like “Singing in the Rain” and “The Hours.”
But they also include more recent movies, such as “Mama Mia,” and newspaper clippings detailing the Barbra Streisand movie “The Owl and the Pussycat,” in which the costume was considered quite risqué when it was released in 1970.
Though some of the renderings belong to Roth, many are on loan from local residents who had picked them up at auction, said James Schuman, president of the historical society. In fact, Colleen Reese, head docent at the mansion, had a few of them and helped to organize the show.
Roth, who graduated from Eichelberger High School in 1949, went to Carnegie Institute of Technology (today Carnegie Mellon University). Her father and uncle owned a jewelry shop on York Street in Hanover, not far from where she grew up on West Hanover Street.
Today she lives in Bangor, in eastern Pennsylvania. But she travels the world to work on movies and in theater.
Roth said she was glad the mansion put her work on display.
“It’s a learning space,” she said.
And art teachers from local high schools, including Hanover and South Western, plan to take their students in the coming days to check out the exhibit, Schuman said.
Reese said it’s exciting to know young people are getting exposure to a fellow Hanoverian’s work in this kind of field.
“I think students would be more interested because of shows like ‘Project Runway,'” she said.

Additional posts on York County popular culture and celebrities:
YLT + YSO = A1 entertainment, Another list of entertainers with York links, and Stand-in stole show in YLT’s “Inherit the Wind.”

*Updated and edited, 1/24/12