Francesca Ludova Collection

Finding aid created by Museum of Performance and Design, Performing Arts Library staff using RecordEXPRESS
Museum of Performance and Design, Performing Arts Library
2200 Jerrold Avenue
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San Francisco, California 94124
4157413531
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2021


Descriptive Summary

Title: Francesca Ludova Collection
Dates: 1907-1979
Collection Number: 990.83/990.115
Creator/Collector: Ludova, Francesca
Extent: 1 Box. 0.5 linear feet.
Repository: Museum of Performance and Design, Performing Arts Library
San Francisco, California 94124
Abstract: Francesca Ludova (1907-1979) was a dancer with the San Francisco Opera Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, as well as in Hollywood in movies and at the Hollywood Bowl. She also danced with the Albertina Rasch Dancers and studied at the Legat School and with Olga Preobrajenska in Paris. This collection contains a scrapbook of postcards received from her close friend Eugenie Mason, her future husband Dimitri Romanoff, and others, as well as correspondence, photographs from their travels and from her time in Hollywood, a wreath pin gifted to Ludova, and Ludova’s obituary.
Language of Material: English

Access

Entire Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Reproduction of these materials can occur only if the copying falls within the provisions of the doctrine of fair use. Copyright varies by item.

Preferred Citation

Francesca Ludova Collection. Museum of Performance and Design, Performing Arts Library

Acquisition Information

The Francesca Ludova Collection was donated to the Library by Harriet Kunze September 25, 1990.

Biography/Administrative History

Francesca Ludova, former dancer with the San Francisco Opera Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, was born Frances Guigni in San Francisco, California in 1907; she died at the age of 72 at General Hospital, San Jose, California on June 28, 1979. Ludova danced with the San Francisco Opera during the late 1920’s under the direction of one of her former teachers, Theodore Kosloff. In the 1930’s, she moved to Hollywood, California where she appeared both in movies and danced at the Hollywood Bowl. Francesca danced with the Albertina Rasch Dancers and studied at the Legat School and with Olga Preobrajenska in Paris. She then returned to San Francisco and later joined the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company. In 1940, she married Dimitri Romanoff: dancer, ballet master and regisseur with whom she operated the San Jose Ballet School in San Jose, California. Ludova also danced under the name Francesca Romanoff after her marriage to Dimitri.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Collection of Francesca Ludova contains such personal items as a scrapbook of postcards received by her between the years 1928-1940 from her close friend Eugenie Mason, various other friends and her future husband, Dimitri Romanoff. The majority of the postcards trace the world travels of Eugenie. Sent to Francesca from her visits to Java; Paris; London; Egypt; Bali; Japan; Barcelona; Madrid; Cairo; Rome; Pasadena, California; Prince George, British Columbia; Olympia, Washington; and Santa Barbara, California Eugenie’s correspondence expresses the loving bond of friendship shared between the two women. Included in the scrapbook are photographs of Eugenie in Java. The Collection also includes a wreath pin with three diamonds presented to Francesca Ludova (Frances Giugni) by Theodore Kosloff when she was his student in San Francisco. Thirty-six black and white publicity stills of such 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s film stars as Charles Chaplin, Jack Pickford, the Marx Brothers, Ronald Colman, Marlene Dietrich, and Wallace Beery reflect Francesca’s career in Hollywood. A copy of Francesca Ludova’s obituary, as it appeared in Dance News, October, 1979, is included in the Collection.

Indexing Terms

Mason, Eugenie
Romanoff, Dimitri, 1907-1994
Kosloff, Theodore
Giugni, Frances
Chaplin, Charlie, 1889-1977
Pickford, Jack, 1896-1933
Marx Brothers
Colman, Ronald, 1891-1958
Dietrich, Marlene
Beery, Wallace
Preobrajenska, Olga, 1870-1962
Romanoff, Francesca
Metropolitan Opera Ballet
San Francisco Opera
Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Albertina Rasch Dancers

Additional collection guides