Scope and arrangement
The collection consists of material created and used in the operation of the Cunningham Dance Foundation, Inc. the organization that houses the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
There is material related to company touring and seasons in New York, especially administrative material used in the planning of dance tours and dance seasons. There is research material that was used in locating and acquiring grant funding. Also included are photographs of dance performances, some dating back to the 1930’s. In addition there is an extensive collection of programs. These programs begin in the 1930’s and continue through 2003.
There is no personal material in the collection.
The The Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, Inc. records are arranged in seven series:
This series consists of office materials, including are schedules, forms, advertising, press releases, job descriptions, public relations materials from other organizations, newsletters, and materials from conferences attended. Also included is correspondence, film/video material, invitations, audience research, the Kennedy Center Honors and other awards.
This series consists of Production notes of dances performed by Merce Cunningham and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. There are staging, lighting, costuming and musical notes pertinent to each dance. These notes were used in dance seasons, dance tours, and when other dance companies rented the dances.
This series consists of material used in organizing tours, both domestic and foreign, as well as dance seasons in New York City. Some of the information about tours, includes, transportation and lodging research, schedules and correspondence with contacts at various venues. Of significance are production notes for many of the dances created and performed by Merce Cunningham and the Merce Cunningham dancers.
This series contains material that was used in finding and applying for grant funding. Included are applications and other forms. There is also research material used in fundraising, including art sales, benefits and pledge drives.
This series contains photographs of Merce Cunningham, mostly backstage, during rehearsal and at awards ceremonies. Also included in this section are a number of photographs of John Cage by myself and with Merce Cunningham. The last section of the series is photographs of many of the dances performed by Merce Cunningham and his company dancers. The majority are black and white.
This series contains programs. The early programs are of dances performed by Merce Cunningham in his years with Martha Graham. Then there are programs of the beginnings of the Cunningham Dance Company as well as later dance seasons. The last programs are of the established Company. The early programs often list of dances and dancers on paper. The later programs are multi-colored and professionally produced. There are programs from other dance company performances dispersed throughout.
This series contains oversized photographs and programs. The photographs are listed by photographer. The programs are listed by year.