In 1969, the Metropolitan Opera made a donation of costumes from its former productions to the New York State Council on the Arts. In its earliest incarnation, the Costume Collection, Inc. was located in Saratoga, NY. The collection has moved several times but is now housed in the historic Kaufman Astoria Film Studios in NYC and is now operated as an arm of the Theater Development Fund. The warehouse holds over 85,000 costumes and accessories
There is simply no way to say how many companies have utilized the Collection since it’s inception but as an example in 2011-12 the Collection provided costumes to approximately 500 organizations for close to 1000 productions in 28 states across the country and over 500 costumes are mailed out or unpacked every day. The Collection rarely turns down donations of costume and vintage clothing (which can be a tax write-off!)
The primary goal of the Collection is to support non-profit arts organizations, but they also rent costumes on a commercial basis for projects of artistic merit.
For several years, the Collection has helped us dress for the Victorian Celebration in Sharon Springs, and we are so grateful for the support they’ve provided in helping us establish this event
Click here to get a peak of the frivolity of Victorian Celebration in Sharon Springs–always the first Saturday of December
Learn more about the TDF Costume Collection, donating or renting. Click here