Howard Vincent Kurtz (BFA; Clarion University of Pennsylvania, MFA; Pennsylvania State
is Professor Emeritus, School of Theater, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He
served as resident costume designer for Mason’s professional theater company, Theater of the First
Amendment and was head of the Design and Technical Theater program for twenty-five years.
During his tenure, Professor Kurtz taught courses in Fundamentals of Production, Costume Crafts,
Seminar in Technical Theater, History of Fashion and Dress, Costume Design, Principles of Design,
Makeup Design, Millinery and Wig Design, Costume Pattern Drafting and Draping, Puppetry, Musical
Theater History, Seminar in the Major, Advanced Costume Design Construction and Theatrical History,
an introduction to the theater arts for non-majors. Professor Kurtz was honored to receive the George
Mason University Outstanding Excellence in Teaching Award, OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award,
Fenwick Library Fellowship for Research Award, and numerous Outstanding Service awards.
Professor Kurtz directed, designed sets, costumes, hair, and makeup for over 75 productions for the
School of Theater, School of Dance, and the School of Music at George Mason University. In recognition
of his service and with the support of his colleagues and friends, Howard established a scholarship in his
name. The Howard Vincent Kurtz Theater Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually and supports
outstanding undergraduate theater students pursuing a concentration in the areas of design and technical
Howard’s previous experience includes several years in New York City, creating costumes for
Broadway, Hollywood films, and television. As a member of the United Scenic Artists Local 829,
Costume Division, He has designed costumes at many regional and local theaters in the Washington,
D.C. metro area, including Arena Stage, Olney Theatre Center, Theater of the First Amendment, and
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Professor Kurtz was honored to receive the Helen Hayes
Outstanding Costume Design Award for his work on Dream of a Common Language. Howard continues
to design costumes at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and the Department of Theater and Dance at
Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
In addition to his academic and professional career, Professor Kurtz was the Associate Curator of
Costumes and Textiles at the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington D.C., the former residence
of American socialite, Marjorie Merriweather Post. During his twenty years at the museum, Howard
curated four exhibitions that highlighted the Post family costumes; Invitation to the Ball: Marjorie Post’s
Fancy Dress Costumes of the 1920s, Wedding Belles: Three Generations of Post Family Dress, Ingenue
to Icon: 70 years of fashion from the collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post
, and A Perfect Fit: A
Fashion Designer & His Ideal Client.
Howard’s publications include Ingenue to Icon: 70 years of Fashion from the Collection of Marjorie
, a biographical review and exhibition catalog of Mrs. Post's costume collection
Additionally, Howard co-authored an international publication for the Museum of Decorative Arts in
Prague on the life of Czech American designer entitled Oldřich Rosenbaum/Oldric Royce: A Life in
Fashion in Prague and New York
Professor Kurtz is a member of the United Scenic Artists Costume Division, as well as the United States
Institute of Theater Technology, where he served as Vice Commissioner for Costume Symposia & Study Tours, within the
Costume Design & Technology Commission and participated in several panels at the annual USITT
conferences. He has been an active member of the Costume Society of America, serving on the Board of
Directors, and also as Treasurer, and President of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Additionally, on the nation
level, Howard has been a member of the CSA Endowment Board, Board of Directors, and chaired the
Endowment Committee. Currently, he is the Treasurer of the National Executive Committee for CSA.
Howard is employed at The Sewing Studio in Maitland, Florida where he teaches classes on flat pattern
drafting and manages the pattern inventory for the store. He volunteers in the Collections Division at The
Maitland Art & History Museums. Additionally, Professor Kurtz also lectures on topics related to
historical dress throughout the East Coast.