Lincoln Kirstein papers

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Collection Data

This collection of the papers Lincoln Edward Kirstein cover the period from ca. 1917 to 1994 and pertain to public and private aspects of his life. This collection compliments the papers given by Kirstein to the Dance Collection in 1994 [*MGZMD 97].
Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907-1996 (Creator)
Chávez, Carlos, 1899-1978 (Correspondent)
Curtiss, Mina Kirstein, 1896-1985 (Correspondent)
Eisenstein, Sergei, 1898-1948 (Correspondent)
Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970 (Correspondent)
Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-1986 (Correspondent)
Leonard, Michael, 1933- (Correspondent)
Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972 (Correspondent)
Nadelman, Elie, 1882-1946 (Correspondent)
Tanning, Dorothea, 1910-2012 (Correspondent)
Taylor, Paul, 1930- (Correspondent)
Tchelitchew, Pavel, 1898-1957 (Correspondent)
Zydower, Astrid, 1930-2005 (Correspondent)
New York City Ballet (Correspondent)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1913 - 1994 (Approximate)
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: (S) *MGZMD 123
Ballet -- History -- 20th century
Ballet -- United States
City Center (New York, N.Y.)
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers
writings (documents)
Biographical/historical: American ballet director, writer, and dance historian, 1907-1995. Lincoln Kirstein was born in Rochester, NY, educated at Harvard (B.A. 1929, M.A. 1930). He married Fidelma Cadmus, sister of artist, Paul Cadmus, in 1941 and served in the U.S. Army 1943-45. He co-founded School of American Ballet with George Balanchine and Edward M.M. Warburg in 1934. Participated in the founding and/or direction of American Ballet in 1935, Ballet Caravan 1936-41, Ballet Society in 1946, and became general director of the succeeding company, New York City Ballet in 1948. Lincoln Kirstein career included work with visual artists and writers on various projects. His publications in dance include: Dance Index, 1942-48; books on Fokine, Nijinsky, New York City Ballet, a history of theatrical dance, and assistance to Romola Nijinsky in the biography of her husband, 1932-33. He retired from New York City Ballet and School of American Ballet in 1989. Kirstein was known as a sponsor (1959-60) of Japanese theater in the United States. He was the recipient of many distinguished awards.
Content: This collection of the papers Lincoln Edward Kirstein cover the period from ca. 1917 to 1994 and pertain to public and private aspects of his life. This collection compliments the papers given by Kirstein to the Dance Collection in 1994 [*MGZMD 97]. The diaries, that cover many of the years from 1919 to 1936, are an important part of the collection. Correspondence, both to and from Kirstein, and manuscripts of many of his extensive writings, make up the bulk of the collection. There are letters from Kirstein's family: Louis Kirstein, father; Rose Stein Kirstein, mother; Mina Kirstein Curtiss, older sister; and George Kirstein, younger brother. There are extensive files of correspondence and related matters for Elie Nadelman and Pavel Tchelitchew, for Kirstein was a friend and artistic executor of the estates of these artists. There are also many letters from the writer, Christopher Isherwood, and some from the poet, Marianne Moore. There is much correspondence and related material about Kirstein's interest in doing a book or major article on the art done by the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, and establishing a war art museum. Because Kirstein was an art collector with a serious interest in art, there is correspondence with artists and sculptors such as Astrid Zydower. Much of the general correspondence consists of requests for advice, information, jobs, letters of reference, tickets to performances. As Managing Director of City Center (1952-53), much correspondence during this period relates to those business activities. A brief description of contents of folders or other information has been given when it could be of assistance to researchers. It is noted when items or letters are written by Lincoln Kirstein. Newsprint has been photocopied onto acid-free paper for preservation. The backs of pages of typescripts were occasionally used for writings on other subjects, which can be confusing. Photographs have been placed in separate collections (*MGZMB 99-1221 and *MGZEB 00-71) for better preservation of this type of material. There are personal photographs of Lincoln Kirstein, his family and friends, and photographs of artwork. A notice has been inserted into folders where photographs or other items have been removed. Language: In English with some French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish. In the following section, the Folder List, and the Separation List, LK refers to Lincoln Kirstein. NYCB refers to New York City Ballet.
Physical Description
Extent: 22 linear feet 466 folders in 38 document boxes; 3,381 Items
Type of Resource
Still image
Other local Identifier: (S) *MGZMD 123
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b14256965
MSS Unit ID: 19761
Archives collections id: archives_collections_19761
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 447f56d0-ea3a-0134-3215-0dac6996f826
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