Scope and Contents
Title: Katherine Kahrs Photography Collection,
Identifier/Call Number: 999.076
Museum of Performance and Design, Performing Arts Library
Language of Material:
9.42 Linear feet
. This collection contains 6 document cases, 1 records carton, and 3 oversized boxes.
Date: circa 1980-1991
Katherine Kahrs is a teacher, painter, and photographer. During the 1980s, Kahrs served as an official photographer for the
Pacific Dance Center and the Palo Alto Dance Center, thus compiling an important visual record of their contributions to dance
education. She also photographed performances by such groups as the Margaret Wingrove Dancers, the Sugano School of Ballet,
the New Dance Company, Dancers' Repertory Theatre, the Golden Gate Ballet, Footwork, the San Francisco Jazz Dance Company,
and the San Francisco Moving Company. Many individuals affiliated with these dance groups are also featured in the collection.
The collection includes slides, negatives, photographic prints as well as programs and related promotional materials featuring
All Materials are in English.
Katherine Kahrs has retained copyright on all of the materials. Ms. Kahrs requests notification of reproduction of an image
and all images should be cited appropriated as follows: "Image courtesy of the Katherine Kahrs Photography Collection, Museum
of Performance + Design, San Francisco". Ms. Kahrs does not expect payment for the use of an image, nor does permission need
to be granted.
This collection is open to researchers.
Initial accession processed by Marianne Carden on September 7, 1994. Additional processing and arrangement by Kirsten Tanaka
and Supriya Wronkiewicz.
All photographs must be cited "Image courtesy of the Katherine Kahrs Photography Collection, Museum of Performance + Design,
San Francisco". For all other materials, please use: [folder title], Katherine Kahrs Photography Collection, Museum of Performance
This collection was donated to the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum by Katherine Kahrs on August 22, 1990.
Katherine Kahrs graduated from University of California, Berkeley with an M.A. in Studio Art in 1951. After graduation, she
exhibited paintings in group shows in the various local museums and other venues. She then lived in Italy and Holland and
traveled through Europe for four years, seeing the great dancing of Sadler Wells, Bejart Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Netherlands
Dance Theatre, and other companies.
After returning to the Bay Area, she taught drawing, composition, and painting from 1962 to 1978. She taught art at various
adult education classes, the Pacific Art League, and U.C. Santa Cruz. She was an exhibiting painter as well as a teacher.
Occasionally, Kahrs won awards for her works on exhibit.
She studied photography at Foothill College. Shortly after Richard Gibson opened the Pacific Dance Center (now Western Ballet)
in Palo Alto in 1976, she took dancing and began photographing dancers in and out of the studio around 1980. In 1982, she
began working for Tance Johnson, the director of Dance Action, and continued this affiliation until 1992. She was also a free
lance photographer in San Francisco from 1982 until 1992, photographing various small dance companies such as Lines, Golden
Gate Ballet, Conzertanz, Cheryl Chaddick, Baroque Music and Dance, Mazynski Dance Company, and others. Her dance photographs
were exhibited at Footwork Studios, Keeble and Suchat Gallery in Palo Alto, and Dancer's Stage for Yahuda Moar. She was included
in Best Photography of 1987.
From 1982 until 1992, she was the featured dance photographer for Margaret Wingrove Dancers of San Jose. She also photographed
New Dance Company in San Jose for Cliff Keuter. She was published in the
San Jose Mercury, the
San Francisco Chronicle,
Metro, and various other publications.
In 1992, she retired from exclusively doing dance photography and now does various freelance photographic assignments, as
well as exhibition photography.
Scope and Contents
The Katherine Kahrs Photography Collection consists of negatives, proof sheets, prints, and print-based programs which document
the activities and performances of various dancers and dance companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Katherine Kahrs served
as an official photographer for the Pacific Dance Center and the Palo Alto Dance Center during the 1980s and thus compiled
an important visual record of their contributions to dance education. She also photographed performances by such groups as
the Margaret Wingrove Dancers, the Sugano School of Ballet, the New Dance Co., Dancers' Repertory Theatre, the Golden Gate
Ballet, Footwork, the San Francisco Jazz Dance Co., and the San Francisco Moving Co.
Many individuals affiliated with these dance groups are also featured in the collection. These include Richard Gibson, Yehuda
Maor, Tina Bernal, Janet Vertis, and Fran Spector. Students such as Molly Story, Ken Delmar, Sandy Perez, Toby Cohen, and
April Breunerman are represented through posed portraits and casual shots taken at rehearsals.
The majority of the collection is composed of negatives and proof sheets which were originally filed in binders. These have
been removed for preservation purposes, but their original groupings by ballet company have been retained. Files of 8 x 10
prints have also been preserved in their original arrangement by dance company and ballet or by individual. Other examples
of Katherine Kahrs' work can be found in the Dance Action Collection, which documents the career of Tance Johnson and the
dance company she founded.
The collection has been organized into the following series:
Margaret Wingrove Dancers;
Pacific Dance Center;
Palo Alto Dance Center;
Programs and Print-based Materials; and
Oversize Materials. The
Individuals series consists of negatives, proof sheets and prints of individual dancers and choreographers and is arranged alphabetically
by name of individual and thereunder by date. The
Dance Companies series includes negatives, proof sheets, and prints of various dance companies active in the Bay Area and is arranged alphabetically
by name of company and thereunder by date. The
Margaret Wingrove Dancers series consists of negatives, proof sheets, and prints documenting the company and is arranged in chronological order. The
Pacific Dance Center series contains negatives, proof sheets, and prints documenting the teaching and peformance activities of the company and
is arranged in chronological order. The
Palo Alto Dance Center series contains negatives, proof sheets, and prints of dress rehearsals and performances and is arranged chronologically.
Programs and Print-Based Materials series contains programs for various performances documented in the collection's photographic files and other non-photographic
materials, such as promotional materials and other print based documents and is arranged by format. The
Oversize Materials series contains mounted photographs and photo albums and is arranged by format and then by company if applicable.
Related collections include the
Dance Action Collection and
Dance Companies Files.