Martha Graham Archive Headed to New York Public Library of the Performing Arts

Martha Graham.

New Yorkers can now get an in-depth look at one of the country’s leading figures in modern dance.

The New York Public Library of the Performing Arts, located at Lincoln Center, announced on Monday that it has acquired the archive of Martha Graham. The announcement comes on the 126th anniversary of Graham’s birth.

Known for being the pioneer of 20th-century dance, Graham’s career reflected the work of those who came before and those later influenced by her signature physical vocabulary and her theatrical innovations. The multimedia collection from the Martha Graham Dance Company contains films of the groundbreaking dancer at the peak of her career, alongside photographs, choreographic notations, correspondence, and other historical materials. The collection includes:

  • Film of iconic Graham works including “Appalachian Spring,” “Frontier,” “Letter to the World,” and “American Document”;
  • Tintype family photographs from Graham’s childhood;
  • An extensive photograph collection of Graham’s canon by photographers including Barbara Morgan and Soichi Sunami;
  • Isamu Noguchi’s set drawings for “Seraphic Dialogue,” including handwritten notes by Noguchi;
  • Choreographic notes for “American Document”.

The collection was remastered and digitized as a part of a three-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for making the restoration of these important objects possible and to the New York Public Library for its commitment to preserving them for future generations,” said LaRue Allen, executive director of the Martha Graham Dance Company.

For more information about accessing the archives online, visit

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