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Lucinda Ballard, whose given name was Lucinda Davis Goldsborough, was born in New Orleans, the daughter of Richard Goldsborough and the former Anna Farrar. She attended Miss McGhee’s School in New Orleans and the Art Students League in New York. She also studied in Paris and elsewhere in France.
Her first theatre credits were as the scenic and costume designer for a 1937 production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It at the Ritz Theater in New York. She won the first Tony Award for costume design in 1947 for her work on several productions in that season: Happy Birthday, Another Part of the Forest, Street Scene, John Loves Mary&##44; and The Chocolate Soldier. She won another Tony in 1962 for The Gay Life.
In 1945, Ballard won a Donaldson Award, a prestigious theatrical prize that is no longer given, for the nostalgic costumes she designed for I Remember Mama. In 1951 she was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on the film A Streetcar Named Desire.
Ballard was an energetic champion of the costume designer’s importance to a play. She was known for her skillful use of color, and Elia Kazan also noted her talent for visualizing in advance how the costumes in as play would look together, when they were seen by the audience. She retired in 1962, but came back in 1985 to design the costumes for a revival of Tennessee Williams’ Night of the Iguana.
In American Ballet Theatre’s inaugural season in 1940 as Ballet Theatre, Ballard designed costumes for The Love Song, Swan Lake, Act II and Les Sylphides and scenery and costumes for Giselle, Peter and the Wolf and Quintet.
Ballard died in 1991 at the age of 87.