Marian van Tuyl Papers

Finding aid created by Mills College at Northeastern University staff using RecordEXPRESS
Mills College at Northeastern University
Special Collections, F. W. Olin Library
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, California 94613

Descriptive Summary

Title: Marian van Tuyl Papers
Dates: 1928-1987
Collection Number: Consult repository
Creator/Collector: Van Tuyl, Marian
Extent: 8 linear feet.
Repository: Mills College at Northeastern University
Oakland, California 94613
Abstract: The Marian van Tuyl Papers contains personal papers, correspondence, and audiovisual materials related to van Tuyl's career as choreographer and dance instructor, including materials documenting her years teaching at mills College, 1928-1970.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Contact the Special Collections Curator, F. W. Olin Library, Mills College for copyright and permission to publish information.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Marian van Tuyl Papers. Collection Number: Consult repository. Mills College at Northeastern University

Acquisition Information

Collection acquired in 1998.

Biography/Administrative History

Marian van Tuyl was born in Wascousta, Michigan on October 16, 1907. Van Tuyl received her Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Michigan in 1928. From 1928 to 1938 she taught dance at the University of Chicago, giving numerous master classes and directing campus musical productions including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Handel’s Xerxes, Gluck’s Iphigenia in Taurus, Weinberger’s Schwanda, and several performances each year in the Rockefeller Chapel of the University. Beginning in 1935 and while at the University of Chicago, she had a private studio in the city and a performing concert group, the Marian van Tuyl Dance Company, that toured the Midwest and would continue to perform until 1947. Together with her student Eleanor Lauer, van Tuyl came to Mills College in 1938, where she was founder and director of the Dance Department. Mills and Bennington were the first institutions of higher education in the United States to offer a degree in Dance, and in 1939 van Tuyl established a parallel Summer School to that at Bennington. She successfully moved dance from physical education to the School of Fine Arts in 1942, and forged strong and lasting connections between the departments of dance, music and theater on the Mills campus. Among her collaborators were Mills composers Darius Milhaud, Henry Cowell, and Lou Harrison, and, from Bennington, stage and scenic designer and Mills drama professor Arch Lauterer. Van Tuyl had a strong commitment to the promotion of dance in the Bay Area and across the nation and was tirelessly active in dance associations from the 1960s to 1980s. Open to many dance traditions and genres, van Tuyl incorporated ballet and folk dance into her own work. By the time she died in 1987 in San Francisco, she had had distinguished careers as dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, editor and publisher, teacher, dance educator, and administrator. She was a tireless promoter of modern dance through numerous professional organizations.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Marian van Tuyl Papers contains personal papers, correspondence, and audiovisual materials related to van Tuyl's career as choreographer and dance instructor, including materials documenting her years teaching at mills College, 1928-1970. Series 1, Scrapbooks (1928-1940), consists of albums of news clippings, news photos, programs and publicity for Marian van Tuyl and for Marian van Tuyl and Group in Chicago, at Bennington, and on tours of the Western States, together with a few large photographs. Series 2, Photographs (1929-1980), contains studio portraits and posed and action dance photographs. Series 3, Scores (1936-1947), consists of musical scores for dances and dance films choreographed by Marian van Tuyl. Series 4, Audio-Visual Material, consists primarily of recordings of Marian van Tuyl dances recorded at Mills College, Marian van Tuyl and Sidney Peterson dance film collaborations of 1947-1948, and Southwest Indian and Tahitian ceremonial dances and milieu. Series 5, Dance, Rhythmics and Physical and Dance Education, consists of dance classes, festivals and symposia, programs, films, choreography, score lists, and conferences on dance, dance education and dance writing, arranged alphabetically by subject. Series 6, Papers and Speeches (1930s-1979), consists of published and unpublished articles, papers, interviews and speeches by Marian van Tuyl and others on dance, theories of physical motion, physical therapies, psychoanalysis and related subjects. Series 7, Editorial Work (1950-1970), comprises business papers for Impulse Publications, including its Articles of Incorporation, board minutes and correspondence, correspondence with contributors and with other dance publications, and permissions to publish, arranged alphabetically by category. Series 8, Impulse: Annual of Contemporary Dance and Anthology of Impulse (1952-1970), consists of some of the publications of Impulse. Series 9, Correspondence, contains personal and professional correspondence on a wide variety of topics, arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Series 10, Associations and Organizations, (circa 1930-1989), consists of material relating to Marian van Tuyl’s activities as a member of associations for dance and related organizations in the arts, and includes correspondence, press releases, newsletters, brochures, programs and information sheets, arranged alphabetically by association. Series 11, Personal Miscellany, consists of biographical information, family photographs, correspondence about Jin Shin Jyutsu therapy, tax matters, and obituaries.

Indexing Terms

Mills College -- Faculty.
Van Tuyl, Marian, 1906 or 1907-1987
Marian Van Tuyl and Group

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