Scope and arrangement
This collection contains personal letters from Lincoln Kirstein to Robert Harris Chapman and to Alexander Jensen Yow. It also includes a typescript of a play, Magic Carpet, written by Kirstein in 1967 and several photographs of the Kirstein family.
Kirstein's letters to Chapman and Yow comprise the bulk of the collection. His letters to Chapman, written between 1949 and 1993, focus on professional concerns, including his thoughts on the work of choreographer George Balanchine and on Chapman's work as a playwright and drama teacher at Harvard. Chapman taught and advised undergraduates, including actors Tommy Lee Jones and John Lithgow, playwright Arthur Kopit, and directors Peter Sellars and André Gregory, and some letters refer to these students.
Kirstein's letters to Yow were written between 1950 and 1975 and are much more personal in nature, reflecting the closeness of their relationship. Kirstein wrote to Yow from many of the places he traveled for work. Enclosed among his letters to Yow are four letters from John S. Thacher, written in 1951.
Photographs in the collection are primarily portraits of Kirstein's family, including a portrait of his father taken by George Platt Lynes and photographs of Kirstein and his mother taken at a summer resort.
Collection is arranged by format.