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Finding Aid to Joseph Rous Paget-Fredericks Dance Collection, circa 1913-1945
BANC PIC 1964.009-024  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Joseph Rous Paget-Fredericks dance collection
    Date (inclusive): circa 1913-1945
    Collection Number: BANC PIC 1964.009-024
    Creator: Paget-Fredericks, J. (Joseph Rous), 1903-1963
    Extent: Approximately 2,000 original drawings, paintings and photographs, as well as scrapbooks and other dance memorabilia. Thirty historic dance costumes (on extended loan to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). 398 digital objects
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The Paget-Fredericks Dance Collection contains roughly 2,000 original drawings, paintings, photographs and pieces of memorabilia that date from ca. 1913 to ca. 1945.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English

    Information for Researchers


    The following parts of the collection are stored off-campus:

    BANC PIC 1964.012 A/AX

    BANC PIC 1964.015 ALB

    BANC PIC 1964.016 ALB

    All dance costumes are on extended loan to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection 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: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Joseph Rous Paget-Fredericks dance collection, BANC PIC 1964.009-024, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Digital Representations Available

    Digital representations of selected original pictorial materials are available in the list of materials below. Digital image files were prepared from selected Library originals by the Library Photographic Service. Library originals were copied onto 35mm color transparency film; the film was scanned and transferred to Kodak Photo CD (by Custom Process); and the Photo CD files were color-corrected and saved in JFIF (JPEG) format for use as viewing files.
    Selected items were digitized or re-digitized at a later date.

    Removed or Separated Material

    • Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
    • The Paget-Fredericks Manuscript Collection is housed in the Manuscripts Division of The Bancroft Library under the call number BANC MSS 72/156 c.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Duncan, Isadora, 1877-1927 -- Pictorial works.
    Fuller, Loie, 1869-1928 -- Portraits, etc.
    Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942.
    Nijinsky, Waslaw, 1890-1950 -- Pictorial works.
    Pavlova, Anna, 1881-1931 -- Pictorial works.
    St. Denis, Ruth, 1880-1968 -- Pictorial works.
    California Heritage Project. CU-BANC
    Online Archive of California.
    Ballet -- 20th century -- Pictorial works.
    Ballet -- Costume -- Pictorial works.
    Dance -- History -- 20th century -- Pictorial works.
    Book illustrations.
    Costume design drawings.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Paget-Fredericks Dance Collection was given to The University of California at Berkeley by Sarah Montmorency (the artist's sister) in 1964. Additions were made to the collection in 1976.


    Finding aid and digital representations of archival material funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


    Joseph Rous Paget-Fredericks was an artist, designer, dancer, and children’s book author and illustrator based in Berkeley, California. He was born in San Francisco, California on December 22, 1903, although various sources record his birth as 1902, 1903, 1905, and 1909. A family story claims he was born on the eve of the 1906 earthquake and fire. Early records and signatures record his name as J.E. Paget Fredericks. His mother, Constance Paget Jackson, (sometimes recorded as Constance Rous-Marten Paget-Jackson) was born in California to English parents. His father, Arthur Remy Fredericks (sometimes noted as Arthur Remy von Höe[h]nthal Fredericks), was also California-born. Details regarding family history and early personal history are not clear, and embellishments are present among autobiographical notes and news clippings in the Paget-Fredricks papers. His own notes indicate he descended maternally from noble English families (Rous-Marten, of Essex and Paget-Jackson of County Durham), and that his father was descended from a family of Baltic lumber Barons.
    Census data and San Francisco city directories provide some family details, noted here to shed light on what has been written about Paget-Fredericks and the origins of his collecting. His father Arthur Remy (or Ramy) Fredericks, appears in the 1880 census as the eight year old son of Prussian Joseph and Josephine (or Gesine) Fredericks of San Francisco. Through city directories from 1875 to 1895, the family can be found residing at 1128 Sutter Street and engaging in their carpet, furniture and upholstery business on Market Street. Paget-Fredericks’s maternal grandfather was English-born Edward J. Jackson, journalist, who is found in the 1880 census in Santa Cruz, California, along with his wife Sarah A. (“S.A.”) and four children. Constance’s age was recorded as 11 in 1880, but her age is given variously in subsequent censuses. In 1890, “correspondent” Edward J. Jackson appears in the Langley San Francisco directory at 1505 ½ Franklin Street. In the 1895 directory, he does not appear, but Mrs. Edward J. Jackson lived at 1810 Webster, the address shared by A. Remy Fredericks, her son-in-law. The 1900 census finds Remy and Constance P. Fredericks in San Francisco (with mother-in-law Sarah A. Jackson), and the family next appears on Piedmont Ave. in Berkeley, California, in the 1920 census, with Constance recorded as “Paget C. Fredericks” as head of household, along with children J.E. (18) and Sarah (13).
    Paget-Fredericks claimed a long family history of collecting, partially attributed by him to his maternal grandmother and her family and their great interest in the theater. He noted that they developed and preserved Europe's first Theater Art Museum in their home “Martendale Greathouse”, in Essex. (This home is not confirmed to have existed, but Paget-Frederick’s great-grandfather, William Marten, did build a home called Martendale in Ryal Bush, New Zealand.) He also indicated that his mother, Constance Paget Fredericks, continued her family's tradition of collecting art and that her link with so many distinguished English and Russian families gave her easy access to the most famous artists and their work. Paget-Fredericks indicated that throughout the early 20th century she was hostess to all the great dancers visiting California. She collected theater and dance memorabilia and art and the family home was said to contain numerous souvenirs of Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Vaslav Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova (including many of her beautiful costumes for such ballets as "Swan," "Giselle," "Rondino," and "Gavotte").
    On his father's side of the family Paget-Fredericks claimed to be a relation of Count Vladimir Borisovitch Fredericks, First Minister of the Imperial Court from 1900-1917. The veracity of this claim has been questioned. The story goes that in 1909, Count Fredericks arranged for Serge Diaghilev to take the Ballet Russe to Paris for a festival of Russian culture. Led by prima ballerina Anna Pavlova and artistic designer Leon Bakst, this was to be the company's first performance outside of Russia. Paget-Fredericks is said to have first become acquainted with the members of the Ballets Russe in his youth, during their visit to San Francisco, where they were allegedly entertained by the Paget-Fredericks family. Although such social connections have not been confirmed, the Paget-Fredericks papers do contain correspondence, beginning in the late 1930s, from Romola Nijinsky, in which she fondly recalls visiting his mother and him in San Francisco many years before.
    In 1921, Paget-Fredericks presented the first of ten original pageants at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. The title of the July 28, 1921 performance was "An Hour of Dance Impressions by Joseph Paget-Fredericks". Two years later he performed in "Joseph Paget-Fredericks in a “Programme of Expressionistic Dances." He also portrayed Magazu, a medicine man, in "The Days of Peralta, a Spectacle-Drama", which recalled the day in 1820 when "the Governor of California granted to Luis Peralta the San Antonio Rancho, a piece of land which includes the present site of Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda". The San Francisco Chronicle indicated that Paget-Fredericks was to dance with Pavlova in Berlin in the winter of 1922, and would study with Bakst in Paris following that engagement (April 23, 1922, p. D4. “Dance concert to be novel event.”)
    Paget-Fredericks attended Berkeley High School and, irregularly, the University of California. His autobiographical notes indicate he attended various schools and universities in Europe and that he studied art with Leon Bakst and John Singer Sargent. Pavlova and Bakst were said to have sponsored his first show in Paris.
    In 1930, Paget-Fredericks records, he was invited to serve as Art Director for Pavlova's world tours. (Pavlova died in January, 1931.) He designed the 1941 American production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," which was presented at the San Francisco Opera House. Joseph Paget-Fredericks was said to have been the first person to lecture on dance at a university in the United States when he taught at the University of California in 1939. He also taught courses in color and design at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and Jean Turner Art Center in San Francisco. At the time of his death he was working on texts for a lecture series on dance to be given at the University of California. He planned to speak of people he knew intimately: Loie Fuller; Isadora Duncan; Ruth St. Denis; Pavlova and her American partner Hubert Stowitts; and Nijinsky. He was the author and illustrator of several children’s books and planned to write a series of books on dance. His book about Pavlova, I Shall Always Love the West, was to be published, and survives in galley proof form. Joseph Paget-Fredericks passed away in his Berkeley home in the spring of 1963.

    Scope and Content Note

    The Paget-Fredericks Dance Collection contains roughly 2,000 original drawings, paintings, photographs and pieces of memorabilia, the majority of which date from ca. 1913 to ca. 1945. The collection is arranged by subject and format into sixteen groups, numbered 1964.009 to 1964.024. Various media and sizes are represented. The categories by subject include: Isadora Duncan; Loie Fuller; Vaslav Nijinsky; Anna Pavlova; Ruth St. Denis; other dancers; decor and costume designs for ballets; other figure and costume studies; illustrations and graphic design; miscellaneous drawings and paintings; juvenilia; historic dance costumes; printed pictures and clippings; photographic prints; portraits; and works by other artists in various media. The material in the collection was either created or collected by Joseph Paget-Fredericks.