Charles E. Fehon Papers
Held at: Princeton University Library: University Archives [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: University Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Charles Edward Fehon, Jr. was born in East Orange, New Jersey on Dec. 5, 1928 to Maria Anna Cristina Deines and Charles Edward Fehon (1899-1981), a bank teller. He grew up in Caldwell, New Jersey, where he graduated in 1946 from Grover Cleveland High School.
Fehon entered Princeton as student in architecture, although he also took many courses in art. In the Spring of his Junior year, he requested and was granted a transfer with no loss in standing to the department of Art and Archaeology. An administrator noted of his switch from architecture to art, "Has been considering a long time. Parents opposed." He graduated with high honors in art and archaeology in 1950. The other members of the Princeton class of 1950 elected him "Most Original," "Most Likely Bachelor," and runner-up for "Greatest Woman Hater."
At Princeton, Fehon was well known and in demand for his designs for theatrical costumes and sets. A 1949 Triangle publication noted that "'Setting by Charles Fehon' has become a watchword in Princeton theatrical circles during the last two years." Fehon was the Stage Designer for Theatre Intime during his sophomore, junior and senior years; a 1948 article in the Daily Princetonian noted that Fehon had designed all Intime sets for the previous two years. He also designed for the University Players, a summer group that included both Theatre Intime members and professional actors, for three seasons from 1948-1950. A 1950 brochure for the University Players noted that Fehon also served as costume director when needed, and constructed sets and acted "bit parts" in his "spare time".
During his Junior and Senior years, Fehon did stage design for Triangle Club shows. His artwork for the 1949 show "Come Across!" was featured in a January 1950 exhibit on the Trianngle Club in Firestone library. The Summer 1950 issue of the Nassau Sovereign included an article titled "The Sovereign Congratulates: Charles E. Fehon '50, Hell and Triptychs in Murray-Dodge," which the Daily Princetonian described as "the story of one of Princeton's most talented undergraduates who has achieved no small renown for novel set and costume designing."
In his senior yearbook entry, Fehon's future prospects were listed as "a stage designer or historian." However, he does not appear to have followed either of these paths. He continued to design for the University Players through 1954. From 1954-1056, Fehon pursued graduate studies in fine art at Harvard, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in 1955. In 1960, he reported that he was employed as a bank branch manager in Boston. Around 1965, he left banking to become a salesman at Jordan Marsh & Company, a Boston department store. Fehon died in the Boston area on November 5, 1988. He left no known next of kin.
The Charles E. Fehon Papers consist primarily of original artwork created by Fehon during the process of designing sets and costumes for Princeton theater groups including Theatre Intime, University Players, and the Triangle Club. It also contains a small amount of scripts and notes related to his theatrical design work.
The Charles E. Fehon Papers are organized by form and, when known, the theatrical group for which the work was created.
Charles Fehon's alumni file from AC104, Undergraduate Alumni Records, the online archive of the Daily Princetonian , and AC381, University Players Records were consulted during preparation of biographical note.
The materials in this collection were previously part of the Theater Collections maintained in Firestone Library. Eight scketches in Box 3 were previously cataloged as TC017, Charles Fehon set designs, 1949-1954. That collection was transferred to Mudd Manuscript Library as accession number AR.2011.017 in April 2011.
This collection was processed by Christie Peterson in March 2011. Finding aid written by Christie Peterson in March 2011 and amended in April 2011.
Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with Mudd Library guidelines.
- Princeton University. Theatre Intime
- Princeton University. Triangle Club
- Princeton University. University Players
- Costume design -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- 20th century
- Set designers -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- 20th century
- Theaters -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- Stage-setting and scenery -- 20th century
- University Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Christie Peterson
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
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