This collection contains the papers of
dance studio founder and choreographer Joseph Rickard (1918-1994), and includes manuscripts,
printed material, ephemera, music scores, production files, and photographs related to the
First Negro Classical Ballet and Negro Classical Ballet, which Rickard founded, and local
ballets in San Gabriel, California. The papers are especially strong as a visual record with
a large number of photographs, publicity material, costume sketches, and printed
Joseph Rickard (1918-1994) was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, September 17, 1918. He moved to
Los Angeles in the 1930s to study ballet with Bronislava and Irina Nijinska but his real
gifts lay in teaching (especially adults) and choreography. In 1946, he overheard an
African-American woman being turned away from a dance studio where she sought lessons for
her daughter; Rickard, from that moment, became determined to start his own dance studio
where he could train African-American dancers in classical ballet.
21.75 Linear Feet
(2,513 pieces in 34 boxes)
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