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March 12, 2020

Acquisition: Barbara Morgan, "Martha Graham, American Document ('Puritan Love Duet' with Erick Hawkins)"

Barbara Morgan, American Document ('Puritan Love Duet' with Erick Hawkins), 1938, gelatin silver prin, National Gallery of Art, Washington, R. K. Mellon Family Foundation

Barbara Morgan
Martha Graham, American Document ("Puritan Love Duet" with Erick Hawkins), 1938
gelatin silver print
image/sheet: 33.8 x 27.2 cm (13 5/16 x 10 11/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington
R. K. Mellon Family Foundation

The Gallery has acquired a photograph by Barbara Morgan (1900–1992) of pioneering American choreographer and dancer Martha Graham. Morgan met Graham in 1935 and embarked upon a series of photographs of Graham and her dance company. Graham created a series of dances based on American subjects, including American Document, which incorporated episodes from American history set to music by Ray Green and accompanied by spoken quotations from historical documents. Martha Graham, American Document (“Puritan Love Duet” with Erick Hawkins) (1938) shows Graham in one section of the dance, “Puritan Love Duet,” with Hawkins, the first male dancer to appear with Graham’s company. Morgan’s photograph joins one other photograph and two prints by the artist in the Gallery's collection.

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