UCLA Acquires the Archives of Dance Photographer Barbara Morgan

Barbara MorganThe University of California, Los Angeles has acquired the archives of photographer Barbara Morgan. The archives include several thousand prints and negatives of Morgan dance photography as well diaries, manuscripts, lectures, essays, drawings and correspondence. Morgan studied art st UCLA from 1919 to 1923 and subsequently taught design, painting, and printmaking at the university. After taking time off to have two children, Morgan turned her attention to photography.

Morgan was best known for her dance photography which brought the world of modern dance to the masses. “Barbara Morgan captured the soul of a dance and the dancer like no other,” said UCLA University Librarian Ginny Steel.

Lionel Popkin, chair of the department of world arts and cultures/dance at UCLA, added that “dance is a tricky form. It leaves a trace in our minds and spirits but not on the wall or on a page. Photographs, notes, diaries — these are the things that will bring generations of choreographers from the past closer to us. Los Angeles is rich in its connection to modern dance, and the Morgan collection not only amplifies the existing archives here at UCLA; it furthers our ability to connect our students to work created in a time before every camera had a phone.”

Below is a photograph by Barbara Morgan of Martha Graham performing in “Letter to the World” in 1940. The University of California, Los Angeles, refers to the image as “one of the most famous dance photographs ever taken.” Morgan died in 1992.


Filed Under: Women's Studies


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply