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Guide to the Barbara Morgan Photographs of Martha Graham and Company
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographies
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Barbara Morgan photographs of Martha Graham and Company,
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1940
    Collection number: MS-P064
    Creator: Morgan, Barbara Brooks, 1900- , photographer
    Extent: 0.1 linear feet 1 oversize folder
    Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
    Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Abstract: This collection comprises three images of Graham and five of her company in performance, all printed from the original negatives in Willard and Barbara Morgan Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Barbara Morgan photographs of Martha Graham and Company. MS-P64. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired, 2004, with funds from a National College Choreography Initiative grant to the UC Irvine Dance Department, and from The John and Elizabeth Stahr Library Fund.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Andre Ambrus and description written by Ryan Hildebrand, 2004.


    Martha Graham, Choreographer

    Martha Graham was an American dancer, instructor, choreographer, and director of the Martha Graham Dance Company. She was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania in 1894. Her formative training was with Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn at the Denishawn School and Company in Los Angeles. Graham went on to teach at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where she began to explore more experimental dance techniques. One of the most influential figures in modern dance, she created over 100 works, including solo, ensemble, and theatrical pieces. As a teacher Graham fostered the continuing evolution of modern dance through former company members such as Anna Sokolow, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor. She died in 1991.

    Barbara Morgan, Photographer

    Barbara Morgan was an American photographer particularly well known for her work, both experimental and documentary, with modern dancers. She was born in Buffalo, Kansas in 1900. Though formally trained in painting and printmaking at the University of California, Los Angeles, Morgan developed an interest in photography after seeing an exhibit of Edward Weston's photographs. One of Morgan's early major undertakings as a photographer was her work with Martha Graham and the Martha Graham Dance Company during the years1935-1940, which formed the basis for her book, Martha Graham: sixteen dances, published in 1941. Morgan's dance photographs were groundbreaking in their departure from "performance documentation" and helped to revolutionized dance photography. She died in 1992.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection comprises three images of Graham and five of her company in performance, all printed from the original negatives in Willard and Barbara Morgan Archives.
    Images are black and white and range from 11 x 14 to 16 x 20 inches.


    Photographs are arranged alphabetically by title of the choreographic work depicted.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Graham, Martha--Photographs.
    Martha Graham Dance Company--Photographs.
    Satyric festival song (Choreographic work : Graham)--Photographs. Penitente (Choreographic work : Graham)--Photographs. Every soul is a circus (Choreographic work : Graham)--Photographs. Steps in the street (Choreographic work : Graham)--Photographs.
    Modern dance--Photographs.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints--20th century.

    Index Terms Related to this Collection

    Willard & Barbara Morgan Archives.

    Related Material

    Related photographs and performance programs of Martha Graham and her company can be found in the following collections in Special Collections and Archives.
    • MS-P21, Dance Photograph Collection
    • MS-P26, Dance Program Collection