Peter Snow Collection

Scope and Content

This collection contains material relating to Peter Snow, a theatre designer and artist, including set and costume designs, photographs, production materials, programmes and other theatre designs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Peter Snow was born in Catford, South London in 1927. In 1948 Snow gained a scholarship at Slade School of Art to study painting and theatre design. He later joined the teaching staff on the Stage Design Course, a department which he headed between 1967 and 1992.

Snow's career in the theatre involved both set and costume design, and he worked on numerous stage productions throughout the second half of the 20th century including dramas, operas, ballets and musicals. Snow worked on the UK premiere of Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' directed by Peter Hall in 1955. His work on both the set and costume design is perhaps his most famous work. Other notable work include Coppélia , at Sadler's Wells, and his collaboration with theatre director, Joan Littlewood.

As well as working in theatre, Snow was an artist in his own right, and showed work at the Prospect Gallery and Beaux Arts. Although he mainly worked with paints, Snow created two multi-media experiences, 'Reflections I' and 'Refelctions II' , shown at Oval House in 1971 and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1975. A retrospective of Snow's paintings was exhibited at the Morley Gallery in 1995.

Peter Snow married Maria Wirth in 1963 and they had one daughter, the painter Selina Snow. Snow passed away in August 2008 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease towards the end of his life.


This collection has been arranged into the following series

  • THM/543/1: Materials Relating to All for Love
  • THM/543/2: Materials Relating to Arlecchino
  • THM/543/3: Materials Relating to Ballet Minerva Celebrations
  • THM/543/4: Materials Relating to Beggars Opera
  • THM/543/5: Materials Relating to Big Bad Mouse
  • THM/543/6: Materials Relating to The Buccaneer
  • THM/543/7: Materials Relating to Coppélia
  • THM/543/8: Materials Relating to The Dinner Engagement
  • THM/543/9: Materials Relating to The Double Dealer
  • THM/543/10: Materials Relating to Francisco
  • THM/543/11: Materials Relating to Intrigues and Amours
  • THM/543/12: Materials Relating to Joan the Maid of Orleans
  • THM/543/13: Materials Relating to La Gamme D'Amour
  • THM/543/14: Materials Relating to Love's Labour's Lost
  • THM/543/15: Materials Relating to Observations
  • THM/543/16: Materials Relating to Saul and David
  • THM/543/17: Materials Relating to South Sea Bubble
  • THM/543/18:Materials Relating to Variations of a Theme
  • THM/543/19: Materials Relating to Refelections
  • THM/543/20: Costume Design
  • THM/543/21: Theatre Design
  • THM/543/22: Materials Relating to English Opera Group
  • THM/543/23: Written Work
  • THM/543/24: Photographs
  • THM/543/25: Materials Relating to Joan Littlewood
  • THM/543/26: Correspondence

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level.

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with collection management policy.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the collection on the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Relevant material may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files. Please ask for details.

Personal Names