Finding Aid to the Hubert Julian Stowitts Papers

Bancroft Staff
The Bancroft Library
The Bancroft Library
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
Title: Hubert Julian Stowitts papers
creator: Stowitts, Hubert Julian
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 2012/165
Physical Description: 5 linear feet (2 cartons, 5 boxes, 4 volumes)
Date (inclusive): approximately 1913-1953
Abstract: The papers of American dancer and painter Hubert Julian Stowitts, including biographical materials, correspondence, and exhibition/performance related materials.
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


No future additions are expected.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Hubert Julian Stowitts papers were gifted to the Bancroft Library by Nancy McGie and Susan Reed in 2012.

Biographical / Historical

Hubert Julian Stowitts was born in Rushville, Nebraska on June 26, 1892. His family later moved to California and eventually settled in Los Angeles. Stowitts attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated in 1915, and where he first began to study dance. While performing in Berkeley's Greek Theatre, he was discovered and recruited by Anna Pavlova of the Ballets Russes. He became one of the star dancers of the company, performing in various productions until the early 1920s. After a brief career as a solo dancer, Stowitts retired from ballet and began to pursue other interests, including figure painting, choreography, costume and set design, motion picture performance, travel and traditional dance of other cultures. His scholarly studies and painted depictions of traditional Indonesian and Indian dance and costume enjoyed wide popularity in the 1930s. In 1936, while in Berlin accompanying an exhibition of his figure paintings of American Olympic athletes, Stowitts assisted Leni Reifenstahl on her documentary Olympia. Riefenstahl protected Stowitts from persecution for being gay, but his exhibition was closed by the Nazi regime because of their objection to the manner in which Stowitts depicted Jewish and African-American athletes. Stowitts continued to lecture on Indian and Javanese culture and to paint privately for the remainder of his life. Hubert Julian Stowitts died in San Marino, California on February 8, 1953.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Hubert Julian Stowitts papers, MSS 2012/165,The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Processing Information

Processed by the Bancroft Library Staff in 2012.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of personalia, correspondence, writings, exhibition and performance related materials, and assorted other items. Correspondence is mostly from the 1930s and 1940s.

Separated Materials

Pictorial materials were transferred to the Pictorial Collections of the Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 2012.116). One manuscript item, a 1605 document from the Inquisition in Peru (gifted to Stowitts) was removed from the collection for separate cataloging.

Conditions Governing Use

Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See:

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Stowitts, Hubert Julian
Pavlova, Anna
Painters--United States
University of California, Berkeley -- Alumni and alumnae.
Gay artists
Dance--20th century


Series 1.  Personalia

Carton 1, Folder 1

Biographical materials

Carton 1, Folder 2

Articles about Stowitts

Box 3, Folder 7

Articles about Stowitts 1927

Scope and Contents

Issue of French women's magazine, Femina, with articles on Stowitts' Parisian studio.
Carton 1, Folder 3

Estate materials 1955

Box 3, Folder 7

Passport 1922

Carton 1, Folder 4

Passport 1930

Carton 1, Folder 5

Horoscopes undated

Carton 1, Folder 6-9

Address books and mailing list approximately 1930-1950

Carton 1, Folder 10

UC Berkeley documents 1913-1914


Series 2.  Correspondence

Carton 1, Folder 11-16

Incoming 1910-1953 undated

Carton 1, Folder 17-20

Outgoing 1930-1953 undated

Carton 1, Folder 21

Regarding Tragic Duse approximately 1940-1949

Carton 1, Folder 22

Letters to Sister Bernice approximately 1930-1939

Carton 1, Folder 23-38

Letters to mother 1916-1936

Carton 1, Folder 39

Unidentified letters approximately 1930-1950


Series 3.  Writings

Carton 1, Folder 40-41

Manuscript: Adventures in India 1931

Carton 1, Folder 42

Manuscript: The "Arkos" Plan for Post-War Employment undated

Carton 1, Folder 43

Manuscript: Arkos, A Practical Youth Movement and Center for a World Renaissance in Culture thru the Youth of America undated

Carton 1, Folder 44

Manuscript: Arkos: The American Renaissance undated

Carton 1, Folder 45

Manuscript: Arkos undated

Carton 2, Folder 1-3

Manuscript: The Golden Age of Ballet undated

Carton 2, Folder 4

Manuscript: The Court Costumes of China undated

Carton 2, Folder 5

Manuscript: The Javanese Theatre undated

Carton 2, Folder 6

Assorted manuscript material relating to the Javanese theatre undated

Carton 2, Folder 7-8

Manuscript: Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory undated

Carton 2, Folder 9

Manuscript: The Key to the Culture of Indonesia undated

Carton 2, Folder 10-12

Manuscript: Vanishing India undated

Carton 2, Folder 13

Manuscript: Industry's Debt to India undated

Carton 2, Folder 14

Manuscripts and notes: assorted on metaphysical ideas undated

Carton 2, Folder 15

Manuscripts and notes: assorted undated

Carton 2, Folder 16

Published writings: assorted 1929-1930


Series 4.  Exhibits/Performances

Carton 2, Folder 17

Dance and art exhibit programs and other ephemera approximately 1920-1945

Carton 2, Folder 18

Reviews approximately 1931

Carton 2, Folder 19

Clippings approximately 1930-1940

Box 3, Folder 1

Clippings approximately 1930-1940

Carton 2, Folder 20

The Golden Age of the Ballet, assorted approximately 1948-1991

Carton 2, Folder 21

American Champions approximately 1936

Carton 2, Folder 22-23

Vanishing India approximately 1931-1986

Box 5

Scrapbook (mostly Vanishing India) approximately 1931-1932

Scope and Contents

Mostly articles and ephemera from the Vanishing India exhibit.
Box 4

Scrapbook (mostly Vanishing India) approximately 1931-1936

Box 1, Folder 3-6

India paintings 1932

Scope and Contents

Issues of the London Illustrated News with articles on Stowitts' India paintings.
Carton 2, Folder 24

The Art of the Theatre in Java 1933

volume 2

Stage Directions for Fay-Yen-Fah 1927

volume 3

Book: The Work of Stowitts for The Fox-God Lyric Ballet in 3 Acts (poem by Templeton Crocker, music by Joseph Redding) 1939

volume 4

Book: The Work of Stowitts for The Fox-God Lyric Ballet in 3 Acts (poem by Templeton Crocker, music by Joseph Redding). Second copy 1939

Box 3, Folder 7

American Champions approximately 1936

Box 3, Folder 7

Manuscript of review of Javanese Theatre Paintings by Hubert Stowitts at the Imperial Institute, South Kensington undated


Series 5.  Miscellany

Carton 2, Folder 25

Materials on Anna Pavlova

Box 1, Folder 1-2

Materials on Anna Pavlova

Scope and Contents

Includes an inscribed copy of "I Shall Always Love the West: Impressions of the Incomparable Anna Pavlova" by J. Paget-Fredericks
volume 1

Book: Anna Pavlova by V. Svetloff 1922

Carton 2, Folder 26

Drawings undated

Box 3, Folder 7

Unidentified costume sketches undated

Carton 2, Folder 27

Travel book on Java approximately 1930

Carton 2, Folder 28

1932 Olympiad emphemera 1932

Box 3, Folder 2-6

Los Angeles Times Olympic Games sections 1932

Carton 2, Folder 29

Assorted approximately 1925-1945

Box 2

Zensurkopie: American Athletes by Hubert Stowitts January 14, 1937

Physical Description: 1 Reels 1 35 mm film reel