- Exhibition Label
- Born Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
- Considered the mother of modern dance in America, Martha Graham brought dance into the vortex of the machine age: the idea of motion was a fundamental tenet of modernism, and Graham was determined to extract dance from its balletic—and European—classicism and infuse it with “significant movement, . . . with excitement and surge.” She studied at Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn’s Denishawn School from 1916 to 1923 and then worked at the Greenwich Village Follies, where she began to design and choreograph her own dances. By 1935 she had established the Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance, and its first performance, “Frontier,” reflected her notion that “life today is nervous, sharp, and zigzag.” Graham continued to perform until she was seventy-six and created new ballets until her death.
- (Midtown Galleries, New York); purchased 1973 NPG
- Data Source
- National Portrait Gallery
- Paul R. Meltsner, 1905 - 26 Nov 1966
- Martha Graham, 11 May 1894 - 1 Apr 1991
- Credit Line
- National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
- Oil on canvas
- Stretcher: 106.7 x 81.3 x 2.5cm (42 x 32 x 1")
- Frame: 125.1 x 99.1 x 5.1cm (49 1/4 x 39 x 2")
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