Scope and arrangement
The Nancy Van Norman Baer papers (1924-1998) document the research, planning, and execution of many of her dance and theater museum exhibitions. Her exhibition materials are primarily logistical, concerning the loan of art, different set ups within different venues, press, and opening parties. Baer's research material contains subject folders with secondary source research material as well as correspondence with historians, other curators, and in some cases the subject themselves.
The Nancy Van Norman Baer papers are arranged in two series:
Series I contains the paperwork, correspondence, and other documents related to the logistical work behind mounting Baer's various exhibitions. The three exhibitions featured prominently in this series are Paris Modern: The Swedish Ballet, La Nijinska: A Dancer's Legacy and Theatre in Revolution: Russian Avant-Garde Stage Design 1913-1935. Exhibition files may contain correspondence, both with other institutions and with Baer's colleagues, plans and photographs of exhibits set up in various spaces, slides, press materials, clippings, posters, and letters of congratulations. Some of the files contain object lists, graphics, and funding and budgetary information. Alphabetical by exhibit title. 9 boxes.
This series also contains audio and video cassettes used for exhibitions - most created to be played during exhibitions, and some used for research purposes.
Inquiries regarding audio and video materials in the collection may be directed to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Audio/visual materials may be subject to preservation and migration prior to access.
Series II consists of research files kept by Baer while developing many of her projects. There are files concerning notable dancers and artists, including Henri Matisse, Leon Bakst, and Michel Fokine as well as research on other institutions and notes made in preparation for various lectures. The bulk of the documents are secondary sources. Folders may contain highlighted articles with notes, correspondence with other historians or curators, lists of biographical resources, and clippings. The material on Bronislava Nijinksa is especially thorough. Baer used these files to produce her 1985 La Nijinska exhibit, and later used them again when assisting Nijinska's daughter Irina in recreating her dances for a modern ballet audience. A few files, such as those of Irina Nijinska and Tamara Toumanova, contain correspondence with the subject of the file. Baer was working on an exhibit on Vaslav Nijinsky at the time of her death and the beginning of her Nijinsky research files are contained within this series. Alphabetical by subject. 17 boxes.