Object Timeline

1985

  • Work on this object began.

2020

2021

  • We acquired this object.

2022

  • You found it!

Sketchbook, Cotton Club Gala Costume Designs

This is a Sketchbook. It was designed by Willi Smith. It is dated 1985 and we acquired it in 2021. Its medium is pen and ink, collage, fabric swatches on paper. It is a part of the department.


Smith’s sketchbook is opened to a spread of costume design drawings for The Original Cotton Club-Gala presented by La MaMa Experimental Theater and WilliWear Ltd. in 1985. Smith’s designs for the costumes were inspired by his travels in Senegal and the costumes Black American entertainers wore when performing at the original Cotton Club in Harlem from 1923–1940.

This object was donated by Mark Bozek. It is credited Gift of Mark Bozek.

Its dimensions are

Open: H x W: 27.9 × 44.5 cm (11 in. × 17 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Sketchbook, Cotton Club Gala Costume Designs; Designed by Willi Smith ; pen and ink, collage, fabric swatches on paper; Open: H x W: 27.9 × 44.5 cm (11 in. × 17 1/2 in.); Gift of Mark Bozek; 2021-28-4

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Willi Smith: Street Couture.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318802495/ |title=Sketchbook, Cotton Club Gala Costume Designs |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=4 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>