TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical History

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Administrative Information

Related Material

Restrictions

Subject and Genre Headings

Arrangement of the Collection

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Photographs

Series 2: Cards

Series 3: Posters

Series 4: Awards

Series 5: Programs

Series 6: Publications

Series 7: Newspaper Clippings

Series 8: Music Scores

Series 9: Oral Histories

Series 10: Scrapbooks

Series 11: Costumes

Series 12: Artifacts

Adelphi Libraries

Barbara Andres Collection, Ruth St. Denis Collection



Overview of the Collection

Repository: Adelphi University
Creator: Andres, Barbara
Title: Barbara Andres, Ruth St. Denis Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1923-2009
Bulk Dates: 1950-1960
Quantity: 39 linear feet (20 boxes)
Abstract: Barbara Andres first met Ruth St. Denis as a teen while studying at Jacob’s Pillow. Their relationship continued after Andres left Jacob’s Pillow, and for seven years she studied at the Ruth St. Denis studio in Hollywood, California. Andres also toured with St. Denis in 1957 and 1959 throughout the northern and southern parts of the United States, assisting in lectures and performing with St. Denis’s Rhythmic Choir. In 1960, Barbara Andres performed at Woodruff Hall, Adelphi University where she worked with St. Denis at the Department of Religious Arts. Later in her career, Andres studied and danced with Madame Avreil Tong. Many of Andres’s original dances stem from the inspiration of Tong and St. Denis’s Asian themed dances.
Language: Collection materials are in English.

Biographical History

Barbara Andres was born in Lynbrook, New York on August 29, 1936. A promising young dancer, she began studying dance at the American School of Ballet in New York City at the age of fourteen. She later became the youngest student to be admitted to the world renowned Jacob’s Pillow. Jacob’s Pillow was founded in 1933 by Ted Shawn, its director. While studying at Jacob’s Pillow, Andres met and briefly worked with Ruth St. Denis. After she completed high school, Andres joined St. Denis in California where she worked, studied and later performed with her. Andres was Ruth St. Denis’s student, and she even called Andres her “disciple.”

For seven years Barbara Andres studied at the Ruth St. Denis studio in Hollywood, California. She toured with Ruth St. Denis in 1957 and 1959 throughout the northern and southern parts of the United States, assisting in lecture demonstrations and performing with her Rhythmic Choir in churches and colleges. Andres performed St. Denis choreography and drew inspiration from it, which she later incorporated into her own dance style.

In the late 1950’s Barbara Andres and Ruth St. Denis were invited to participate in Adelphi’s Department of Religious Arts, and in 1960 Andres performed a program at Woodruff Hall. During the early 1960s, Barbara Andres also studied and danced with Madame Averil Tong, one of China’s most renowned creative artists. Barbara Andres’s repertoires stem from the creative works of Ruth St. Denis and Madame Averil Tong.

Many of the items in Barbara Andres’s collection once belonged to Ruth St. Denis. Ruth St. Denis was born in rural New Jersey in 1879. Her dance career began at age 16, and by 1898 she was discovered by David Belasco, a well-known and highly successful Broadway producer and director. She toured with Belasco’s company around the United States and Europe as a featured dancer for five years. In 1914, she met and married a young dance-innovator named Ted Shawn. In 1915, they formed Denishawn Company and School, which had an “all-inclusive” dance concept, including Oriental and other ethnic styles, freestyle movements, and primitive forms, among others. In 1931, St. Denis and Shawn parted but were never legally separated, and Denishawn was reorganized, becoming the Ruth St. Denis School of Dancing and Its Relative Arts while Shawn went on to found Jacob’s Pillow School and Festival and Ted Shawn’s Men Dancers.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Barbara Andres, Ruth St. Denis Collection contains materials from different stages of Barbara Andres’s career, particularly her relationship with Ruth St. Denis, as her student, protégé and friend. The collection largely consists of photographs of diverse sizes, of both Andres and St. Denis. It includes books, photographs, scrapbooks, programs, flyers, posters, awards, artifacts and costumes relating to the careers of both Andres and St. Denis. The materials cover Andres’s career from her late childhood on Long Island to her time with Ruth St. Denis in Hollywood, California and The Religious Arts Center at Adelphi University and finally, to her years spent studying and performing with Averil Tong, primarily in New York City. The Collection also contains recently recorded oral histories with Barbara Andres.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The materials in the Barbara Andres, Ruth St. Denis collection were collected by Barbara Andres and donated to Adelphi University in late 2008 and early 2009. Some of these materials were given to Andres by St. Denis and St. Denis’s brother “Buzz”. These materials are located in the University’s Archives and Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Barbara Andres, Ruth St. Denis Collection; Box and folder number; Adelphi University Archives and Special Collections, Garden City, NY.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2009 by Vanessa Nastro under the supervision of Mary Manning.

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Related Material

Related materials on Ruth St. Denis may be found in the following collections in this repository:

Ruth St. Denis Collection
Rare Books Collection

Other repositories with collections related to Ruth St. Denis:

Digital Library Collections, New York Public Library
St. Denis (Ruth) Photograph Collection, University of California, Irvine
Ruth St. Denis Papers, 1880-1968, University of California, Los Angeles
Dance Collection, University of Texas at Austin
Suzanne Shelton Buckley Collection, University of Denver
Jacob’s Pillow Archives, Jacob’s Pillow
Still Photograph Archive, George Eastman House

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The Ruth St. Denis collection is open to research. Photocopies of fragile materials are provided for researchers in lieu of the originals.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from Adelphi University Archives and Special Collections. Researchers are responsible for copyright compliance.

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Subject and Genre Headings

Persons:

Andres, Barbara, 1936-
St. Denis, Ruth, 1880-1968

Topics:

Adelphi University
Asian dance
Dance
Denishawn School of Dancing
Modern dance

Document Types:

costumes (mode of fashion)
manuscripts
photographs
posters

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Arrangement of the Collection

The Barbara Andres, Ruth St. Denis collection is arranged into 12 series:

Series 1: Photographs
Series 2: Cards
Series 3: Posters
Series 4: Awards
Series 5: Programs
Series 6: Publications
Series 7: Newspaper Clippings
Series 8: Music Scores
Series 9: Oral Histories
Series 10: Scrapbooks
Series 11: Costumes
Series 12: Artifacts

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

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Series 1: Photographs
Includes photographs of Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn and Barbara Andres.
Arranged roughly chronologically.
Box Folder
1 n/a Photographs, circa 1950-1960
Box Folder
2 n/a Oversized Photographs, circa 1950-1960, undated

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Series 2: Cards
A birthday card for Ruth St. Denis's eightieth birthday party held at her dance studio in Hollywood California in 1959. The card was signed by many of St. Denis's friends, collaborators, and fellow dance contemporaries, including Merce Cunningham and Jose Limón. .
Box Folder
2 n/a Birthday card, 1959

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Series 3: Posters
Two posters of Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn performances and one of a Barbara Andres recital.
Box Folder
2 1 Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn,  undated
2 Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn "Sister Moses" Dance,  1919
2 Barbara Andres Chinese Dance Recital,  1966

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Series 4: Awards
Tenth annual Capezio Dance Award. Original certificate awarded to Ruth St. Denis with a pamphlet describing the award and career of St. Denis.
Box Folder
2 n/a Capezio Award, 1961

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Series 5: Programs
Includes programs of Barbara Andres, Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn performances.
Box Folder
3 1 Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn, 1951
2 Barbara Andres and Averil Tong,  1960-1961,1963
3 Barbara Andres and Isadora Duncan,  1956-1957,undated

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Series 6: Publications
Includes books and other items Barbara Andres has used as inspiration for various dances she performed.
Box Folder
3 4 Ruth St. Denis biography, 1959
5 Advertisement for Avril Tong Tai Chi Demonstration, undated
6 Denishawn Magazines, 1925
7 Book: Kimono-Japanese Dress, 1936
8 Book: Odori (Japanese Dance), 1938
9 Book: Japanese Picture Scroll, undated
10 Isadora Duncan: Pioneer in the Art of Dance, 1959

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Series 7: Newspaper Clippings
Newspaper clippings related to Ruth St. Denis.
Box Folder
3 11 Newspaper clippings, 1923 and 1931

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Series 8: Music Scores
Music scores used for Ruth St. Denis's Rythmic Choir.
Box Folder
3 12 Music scores, 1934

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Series 9: Oral Histories
Two oral histories recorded of Barbara Andres. The oral histories are accessible through the Adelphi Archives and Special Collections website: libraries.adelphi.edu/archives-and-special-collections/special-collectionsfinding-aids/barbara-andres-collection/.
Box Folder
3 13 Oral histories, October 17, 2008 and November 28, 2009

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Series 10: Scrapbooks
One scrapbook created by Ruth St. Denis during the Denishawn Asian Tour. The second scrapbook was created by Barbara Andres for St. Denis and contains religious imagery used for inspiration for the Rhythmic Choir.
Box Folder
4 n/a Asian Tour, undated
Box Folder
5 n/a Rhythmic Choir, 1976

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Series 11: Costumes
Dance costumes worn by Ruth St. Denis and Barbara Andres for performances.
Box Folder
6 n/a Costume for "Cherry Blosson," undated
Box Folder
7 n/a Costume for "Realization and Praise," undated
Box Folder
8 n/a Costume for "The White Madonna," undated
Box Folder
9 n/a Costume worn by Ruth St. Denis, undated
Box Folder
10 n/a Costume for "The Nautch" and Ruth St. Denis's personal sari, undated
Box Folder
11 n/a Costume for "Burmese Umbrella Dance" and Ruth St. Denis's personal sari, undated
Box Folder
12 n/a Costume for "Burmese Umbrella Dance," undated
Box Folder
13 n/a Costumes for Denishawn performances and "The Blue Madonna of St. Marks," undated
Box Folder
14 n/a Costumes for "Incense," undated
Box Folder
15 n/a Costumes for "Cobra," undated

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Series 12: Artifacts
Items owned by Ruth St. Denis, used in her performances and for inspiration.
Box Folder
16 n/a Statue head and Noh mask, undated
Box Folder
17 n/a Silk backdrop used in "The Blue Madonna of St. Marks," undated
Box Folder
18 n/a Acetate discs used for “The Blue Madonna of St. Marks," undated
Box Folder
19 n/a Umbrella used in “Burmese Umbrella Dance," undated
Box Folder
20 n/a Umbrella used in “Cherry Blossom” Dance, undated

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