Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art & Art History

First Advisor

Albert Alhadeff

Second Advisor

Robert Nauman

Third Advisor

Marilyn Brown


In 1923, at the Théâter des Champs-Élysées, Paris saw the debut of a ballet production unlike anything it had ever seen. The production of La Création du Monde was the result of a collaborative process, which pulled from every artistic corner of Paris. Beginning with Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, the group of creators expanded to include Darius Milhaud, Jean Börlin, and Rolf de Maré. Each man’s contribution to the creation and design of La Création du Monde was paramount, as were the cultural influences weaving through each contribution. While this paper does touch on all of the collaborators and their unique artistic métier as it manifests in the production, the focus is Fernand Léger and his contribution to the production of La Création du Monde. In order to truly understand Léger’s designs for the set and costumes, a ground work must first be laid in which his work leading up to 1923 is explored, revealing theories and practices that consistently run through his artistic production from the first decade of the twentieth century to his collaborative work on La Création du Monde. Moreover, this paper discusses concurrent popular trends in Paris, which play a crucial role in the conception, design, and production of all aspects of La Création du Monde.