Guide to the Clarence McGehee Collection on Ruth St. Denis

Processed by Laura Clark Brown; machine-readable finding aid created by Gabriela A. Montoya
Special Collections and Archives
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Phone: (949) 824-3947
Fax: (949) 824-2472
Email: spcoll@uci.edu
URL: http://www.lib.uci.edu/rrsc/speccoll.html
© 1998
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Note

Arts and Humanities --Performing Arts --Dance

Guide to the Clarence McGehee Collection on Ruth St. Denis

Collection number: MS-P 25

Special Collections and Archives

The UCI Libraries



University of California

Irvine, California

Contact Information

  • Special Collections and Archives
  • The UCI Libraries
  • P.O. Box 19557
  • University of California
  • Irvine, California 92623-9557
  • Phone: (949) 824-3947
  • Fax: (949) 824-2472
  • Email: spcoll@uci.edu
  • URL: http://www.lib.uci.edu/rrsc/speccoll.html
Processed by:
Laura Clark Brown
Date Completed:
November 1997
Encoded by:
Gabriela A. Montoya
© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Clarence McGehee collection on Ruth St. Denis
Date (inclusive): ca. 1908-1937
Collection number: MS-P025
Collector: McGehee, Clarence
Extent: 4.7 linear feet (5 boxes)
Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Abstract: The collection is comprised of correspondence, typescripts, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, programs and ephemera collected by Ruth St. Denis' publicist, Clarence McGehee. Most materials, including a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, pertain to Ruth St. Denis and the Denishawn Dancers. Other materials pertain to contemporaries of Ruth St. Denis in the dance world, including Ted Shawn, members of Ballet Russe, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Norma Gould and Trudi Schoop. Also in the collection are clippings of an anonymous author's newspaper column; McGehee may be the author. Items date from circa 1908 to 1937.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Clarence McGehee Collection on Ruth St. Denis. MS-P 25. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Valerie Ormont in 1996.

Processing History

Processed by Laura Clark Brown in 1997.

Biography

Clarence McGehee was a writer and publicist for Ruth St. Denis in the first decade of the twentieth century. He collected materials primarily by and about Ruth St. Denis and also gathered information on many of her dance contemporaries. McGehee was a resident of Redondo Beach, California.
In 1911, several papers announced McGehee's engagement to Ruth St. Denis, but they never married.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The collection is comprised of correspondence, typescripts, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, programs and ephemera collected by Ruth St. Denis' publicist, Clarence McGehee. Most materials, including a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, pertain to Ruth St. Denis and the Denishawn Dancers. Other materials pertain to contemporaries of Ruth St. Denis in the dance world, including Ted Shawn, members of Ballet Russe, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Norma Gould and Trudi Schoop. Also in the collection are clippings of an anonymous author's newspaper column; McGehee may be the author. Items date from circa 1908 to 1937.
The collection is organized in three series. Series 1 is comprised of correspondence received by Clarence McGehee and Ruth St. Denis. Series 2 contains writings by unknown authors and an essay purportedly written by Ruth St. Denis. Series 3, the largest series, consists of printed items, including a scrapbook of clippings on Ruth St. Denis, loose newspaper and magazine clippings, programs, playbills and flyers.
Series 3 is arranged in five subject subseries. The first three subseries overlap in subject; the materials illustrate the careers of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn and document activities of their school, Denishawn, and the Denishawn Dancers. Subseries 3.4 represents other major dancers, choreographers and companies of the era; the materials also include information on relevant topics of world dance, including Native American and Latin American dance. McGehee's collection contains numerous playbills from dance performances held in Los Angeles area theatres. Most performances were by nationally or internationally renowned companies such as Ballet Theatre and Ballet Russe. The final subseries contains materials unrelated to dance, including articles and business cards collected by McGehee.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

St. Denis, Ruth, 1880-1968--Archival resources.
Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972--Archival resources.
Duncan, Isadora, 1877-1927--Archival resources.
Denishawn School of Dancing--Archival resources.
Dance--Archival resources.
Dance--United States--Archival resources.
Modern dance--United States--Archival resources.
Dancers--Archival resources.

Genres and Forms of Material

Dance programs.
Scrapbooks.

Occupations

Dancers.
Choreographers.

Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

Ormont, Valerie, former owner.


Collection Contents

 

Series 1.  Correspondence, 1911-1924.

Physical Description: 0.8 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Letters received by the collector Clarence McGehee and letters received by Ruth St. Denis. Many letters to St. Denis appear to be fan mail, while correspondence to McGehee is personal. Most letters to McGehee mention Ruth St. Denis. The series is arranged into two groups by the recipients, and with each group listed alphabetically by senders' surnames. Items date from circa 1911 to 1924.
Box 1 : 1

Letters received by Clarence McGehee (1911, 1914, 1924).

Note

Letters sent from the following individuals:
  • Jay (?)
  • Kingsley, Grace
  • Milhenney, Eddy(?)
  • Soloducko, Henry
  • Yamada, Hana
Box 1 : 2

Letters received by Ruth St. Denis (1911 and undated).

Note

Letters sent from the following individuals:
  • Buckley, Olive(?)
  • Davis, Maria
  • Dietz, Jr., F.W.(?)
  • Fairchild, Camilla
  • Grant, Lillian S.
  • Hirsch, Frank A.
  • Hullinger, Litta Lynn(?)
  • Kreider, Emma K.
  • Mayer, Charles
  • Miller, Marion Mills
  • Ryan, Herbert H.
  • Schuster, Richard
  • Siskels, M.B.
  • Soho, Maroula
  • Stiles(?)
  • Tamfer, Edwina Dean(?)
  • Ward, J.(?)
 

Series 2.  Writings, ca. 1909 and undated.

Physical Description: 0.4 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Typescript and manuscript writings relating to dance and art. One typescript titled "The 'Ways' of Life" was supposedly written by Ruth St. Denis. Authorship of the other items is unknown. Most items are undated, but the St. Denis piece is from circa 1909.
Box 1 : 3

"Art and Meaning" (ca. 1909)

Box 1 : 4

"Cambodian Dancing Girls"

Box 1 : 4

"The Dancing Girls of Java"

Box 1 : 5

"The 'Ways' of Life," by Ruth St. Denis

 

Series 3.  Printed material, ca. 1908-1937

Physical Description: 3.5 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

A scrapbook of clippings, loose newspaper and magazine clippings, programs, playbills, flyers and ephemera related to Ruth St. Denis, Denishawn and other dance and non-dance topics. Materials are arranged in five subseries by subject matter. Items date from circa 1908 to 1937.
The series has been organized in 5 subseries:
  • Subseries 3.1. Ruth St. Denis material, ca. 1908-1937. 0.7 linear ft.
  • Subseries 3.2. Ted Shawn material, ca. 1908-1937. 0.7 linear ft.
  • Subseries 3.3. Denishawn material, 1916-1925. 0.7 linear ft.
  • Subseries 3.4. Other dance personalities and topics material, undated. 0.7 linear ft.
  • Subseries 3.5. Non-dance material, ca. 1909-1911. 0.7 linear ft.
 

Subseries 3.1.  Ruth St. Denis material, ca. 1908-1937.

Physical Description: 0.7 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Scrapbook of newspaper clippings, loose clippings, pamphlets, brochures and ephemera reflect the dance career of St. Denis and the publicity surrounding her marriage to Ted Shawn.
Box 1 : 6-9

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 1

Oversized newspaper clippings

Box 1 : 10-12

Programs and playbills (these items also represent Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers, ca. 1911-1937)

Box 1 : 13

Ruth St. Denis and Her Indian Dances, pamphlet (ca. 1908)

Box 1 : 14

Ruth St. Denis, Pioneer and Prophet, brochure for monograph by Ted Shawn (ca. 1920)

Box 1 : 15

"Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn & Their Denishawn Dancers," brochure for transcontinental American tour (1926)

Box 1 : 16

Miriam, Sister of Moses, brochure for ballet (n.d.)

Box 1 : 17

Ephemera, including announcements and invitations to events

Box 4 OS

Scrapbook of newspaper clippings (ca. 1911)

Box 4 OS: 1-2

Loose clippings from scrapbook

 

Subseries 3.2.  Ted Shawn material, ca. 1908-1937.

Physical Description: 0.7 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Newspaper clippings and ephemera illustrate the dance career of Ted Shawn and his company of Men Dancers.
Box 1 : 18-19

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 1

Oversized newspaper clippings

Box 1 : 20

Ephemera, including announcements and advertisements

 

Subseries 3.3.  Denishawn material, 1916-1925.

Physical Description: 0.7 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Newspaper clippings, programs, playbills, brochures and four issues of Denishawn Magazine documenting the School of Dance and Related Arts, as well as performances by the Denishawn Dancers.
Box 1 : 21-22

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 1 : 23

"Denishawn, The Ruth St. Denis School of Dancing," 2 brochures (1916-1917)

Box 1 : 24

The Denishawn Magazine: A Quarterly Review Devoted to the Art of the Dance, Volume 1: Numbers 1-4 (1925)

Box 5 OS : 1

"Denishawn," pamphlet

 

Subseries 3.4.  Other dance personalities and topics material, undated.

Physical Description: 0.7 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by surnames of individuals and by topics, these materials provide a glimpse at Ruth St. Denis' dance contemporaries and relevant dance topics of the day. Items include newspaper clippings, programs, playbills, flyers and advertisements.
Box 2 : 1-2

Allan, Maud

Box 2 : 1

Newspaper clippings and photograph

Box 2 : 2

Programs and playbills

Box 2 : 3

Amaya, Carmen, programs

Box 2 : 4-5

American Ballet

Box 2 : 4

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 5

Program and brochure

Box 2 : 6

La Argentina, newspaper clippings and brochure

Box 2 : 7

Bakst, Leon

Box 2 : 7

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 2

Oversized clippings

Box 2 : 8

Balanchine, George, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 9-10

Ballet Caravan and Ballet Theatre

Box 2 : 9

Newspaper and magazine clippings and flyers

Box 2 : 10

Programs

Box 2 : 11-12

Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo

Box 2 : 11

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 12

Flyers, brochures and a program

Box 2 : 13-14

Basil, W. de

Box 2 : 13

Newspaper and magazine clippings, broadsides and flyers

Box 2 : 14

Programs

Box 2 : 15-16

Bolm, Adolph, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 17

Brice, Fanny, newspaper clipping and program

Box 2 : 18

Cocteau, Jean, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 19

Dance in Art and Poetry, newspaper and magazine clippings and exhibit catalog

Box 2 : 20

Dancers (miscellaneous)

Box 2 : 20

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 4

Oversized clippings

Box 2 : 21

de Merode, Cleo, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 22

de Mille, Agnes, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 23-24

Diaghilev, Serge

Box 2 : 23

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 2

Oversized clippings

Box 2 : 24

Programs

Box 2 : 25-28

Duncan, Isadora

Box 2 : 25

Magazine articles

Box 2 : 26-27

Newspaper clippings and ephemera

Box 5 OS : 3

Oversized clippings

Box 2 : 28

Programs

Box 2 : 29

Dunham, Katherine, program

Box 2 : 30

Enters, Agna

Box 2 : 28

Programs

Box 2 : 31-32

Escudero, Vincente

Box 2 : 31

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 32

Programs

Box 2 : 33

Fokine and Fokina

Box 2 : 33

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 2

Oversized clippings

Box 2 : 34, newspaper, magazine clippings and program

Genee, Adeline

Box 2 : 35

Gest, Morris, newspaper, magazine clippings, and program

Box 2 : 36

Gould, Norma, brochures and programs

Box 2 : 37

Graham, Martha

Box 2 : 37

Newspaper and magazine clippings, flyer and program

Box 5 OS : 3

Oversized clippings

Box 2 : 38

Guerrero, Rosario and Antonio, programs

Box 2 : 39

History and criticism

Box 2 : 39

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 6

Oversized clippings

Box 2 : 40

Hoffman, Gertrude, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 41

Horton, Lester, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 42

Humphrey, Doris, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 2 : 43

Japanese dance, postcards and brochure

Box 3 : 1

Karsavina, Tamara

Box 3 : 1

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 5

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 2

Kinch, Myra, flyer and playbill

Box 3 : 3-4

Kosloff, Theodore

Box 3 : 3

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 5

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 4

Programs

Box 3 : 5

Latin American dance, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 6

Lopokova, Lydia

Box 3 : 6

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 5

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 7

Marraci, Carma Lita, program and flyer

Box 3 : 8

Massine, Leonide, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 9

Mills College, "Creative Arts" brochure

Box 3 : 10-11

Miscellaneous dance topics

Box 3 : 10

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 6

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 11

Playbills, flyers and brochures

Box 3 : 12

Mordkin, Mikail

Box 3 : 12

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 5

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 13

Native Americans (of Mexico) dance

Box 3 : 13

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 6

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 14

Nijinsky, Kyra, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 15

Nijinsky, Vaslav

Box 3 : 15

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 7

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 16

Oukrainsky, Serge, flyers and playbill

Box 3 : 17

Pavley-Oukrainskey Ballet, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 18-19

Pavlova, Anna

Box 3 : 18

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 7

Oversized clippings and program

Box 5 OS : 19

Programs and pamphlet

Box 3 : 20

Rubenstein, Ida

Box 3 : 20

Newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 5 OS : 7

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 21-23

Russian ballet

Box 3 : 21-23

Newspaper and magazine clippings and playbills

Box 5 OS : 8

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 24

St. Ritus Banda, magazine clipping and brochure

Box 3 : 25

Schoop, Trudi, flyers, broadsides and program

Box 3 : 26

Shan Kar, Uday, newspaper, magazine clippings, and program

Box 3 : 27

Spanish dance

Box 3 : 27

Newspaper and magazine clippings, brochures and photograph

Box 5 OS : 8

Oversized clippings

Box 3 : 28

Stowitts, Hubert, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 29

Swedish ballet, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 30

Toumanova, Tamara, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 31

Vanda Hoff, Ora, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 32

Volinine, Alexander, newspaper and magazine clippings

Box 3 : 33

Wigman, Mary, magazine clipping and brochure

Box 5 OS : 7

Zorina

Box 5 OS : 7

Oversized clippings

 

Subseries 3.5.  Non-dance material, ca. 1909-1911.

Physical Description: 0.7 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Newspaper clippings from the Los Angeles Times and magazine articles from West Coast Magazine may be material written by Clarence McGehee. Many articles deal with Chinese Americans on the West Coast. Items date from circa. 1909 to 1911.
Box 5 OS : 9

Newspaper columns by a "Special Contributor" in the Los Angeles Times (ca. 1909-1911)

Box 3 : 34

Poems

Box 3 : 34

Ephemera

Box 3 : 35, Folder 35

Magazine articles from West Coast Magazine