The George Platt Lynes Photographs collection documents dance (principally ballet) photographs taken by George Platt Lynes from 1933 to 1955 and contains mostly black and white negatives and some prints.
Biographical/historical: Photographer George Platt Lynes was born in East Orange, New Jersey in 1907. He attended the Berkshire School in Massachusetts, where Lincoln Kirstein was a classmate. Lynes set up his studio in New York City circa 1932 and began taking photos for fashion magazines. In approximately 1934, he was commissioned to photograph the dances and dancers of the American Ballet (later New York City Ballet) which he did through 1955. Lynes died in New York City in 1955 of lung cancer at the age of 48.
Content: The collection consists of mostly black and white negatives (8 x 10" and 120 film) and some prints depicting the repertoire, ballet dancers and choreographers of Ballet Caravan, Ballet Society, Ballet Theatre, and later New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, from approximately 1933 to 1955.
Ballets well-represented in the collection include Billy the Kid (1938-1950), The Cage (1951-1953), Cakewalk (1951), Filling Station (1937-1953), Jones Beach (1950), Orpheus (1948-1950), Orpheus and Eurydice (1936), Symphony in C (1948), and La Valse) (1951). The collection contains two color transparencies: Billy the Kid (1938) and The Firebird (1949).
There are also numerous studio photographs of ballet notables such as George Balanchine, Alexandra Danilova, André Eglevsky, Nora Kaye, Tanaquil Le Clercq, Nicholas Magallanes, Alicia Markova, Francisco Moncion, Jerome Robbins, and Maria Tallchief.
Among many others also included are Martha Graham (1936) and Ram Gopal (1938), New York City Ballet corps members (1951-1952), and School of American Ballet (circa 1941-1948) with Edward Villella among the students.