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Finding Aid for the Howard Holtzman Collection on Isadora Duncan, ca. 1878-1990
1729  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) was a modern dance pioneer influenced by Walt Whitman, Emerson and American Transcendentalism. She first gained recognition and support for her work after moving to London (1899). In 1904, she met Edward Gordon Craig, and they worked and toured together for three years. Later, she opened a school of dance for children in Bellevue near Paris (1914), and another in Moscow (1921). She continued to dance until her accidental death in 1927.

Howard M. Holtzman (1921-1990) was a poet, lawyer and collector. His interest in Isadora Duncan began when he read her memoirs and sought to explore and document the influence of her artistic expression on the history of art. Recognizing the role that certain relationships, both personal and artistic, came to play in shaping her artistic development, Holtzman collected materials that reflect others' influences on Isadora, documented the impressions of many people who had seen her perform, and acquired the Edward Gordon Craig material in this collection.

The collection consists of Isadora Duncan's business and personal papers, primary writings, and material about her. There are also materials by and about Edward Gordon Craig, Raymond Duncan, and Ellen Terry. Materials include dance programs, business correspondence, writings by Isadora Duncan, photographs, objets d'art created by her brother Raymond, research materials compiled by her biographer, Allan Ross Macdougall and collector Howard Holtzman, correspondence between Howard Holtzman and Irma Duncan, and programs and photographs of other dancers who influenced or were influenced by Isadora Duncan.
Background
Howard M. Holtzman (1921-1990) was a poet, lawyer and collector. His interest in Isadora Duncan began when he read her memoirs and sought to explore and document the influence of her artistic expression on the history of art. For the next 32 years, he collected materials by and about Isadora Duncan. Recognizing the role that certain relationships, both personal and artistic, came to play in shaping her artistic development, Holtzman acquired the Edward Gordon Craig material in this collection. For the performing arts, the transition from the 19th to the 20th century was a change from the pictorial and romantic to a more architectural and impressionistic framework. Craig's work in the theatre and Duncan's in dance promoted these developments, and their collaborative works were considered revolutionary. Ellen Terry, Craig's mother and a famous Shakespearean actress, was a model for both of them as her artistic interests incorporated theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts and architecture. Holtzman conducted extensive research and collected materials that reflect others' influences on Isadora, and documented the impressions of many people who had seen her perform.
Extent
17 boxes (8.5 linear ft.) 24 oversize boxes.
Availability
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.