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Spotlight on the Public Domain

2,000 Public Domain Prints Available From the Jerome Robbins Dance Division

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This is one of a series of blog posts related to the NYPL Public Domain Release: discover the collections and find inspiration for using them in your own research, teaching, and creative practice. 

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division has been working on a multi-year project to digitize the approximately 2,000 public domain prints in its collection. The Division collects "prints depicting dance," covering a wide range of subjects, including portraits of dancers, dance performances and rehearsals, 17th century spectacle and horse ballet, 19th century advertisements showing dance, and satire. The prints can include sheet music, plates from books, and prints that were formally released as prints. In short, if it shows someone or something dancing, it fits within our collecting scope.

I am pleased to show some of my favorites prints in order to provide a glimpse into the wide range of our public domain prints depicting dance. 

Loie Fuller dancing.
Folies-Bergère, La Loïe Fuller. Circa 1897.

Depicts Loïe Fuller dancing, full length to left of left foot, right foot raised behind, her head thrown back. Her arms are outstretched and she holds a billowing multi-colored scarf. Dry stamp "Les Maîtres de l'Affiche" bottom right corner. Lithographic reproduction of Chéret's larger 1893 poster. Call number *MGZFB Ful L 1.

A scene from the pageant preceding the fête Le Combat à la barrière. The print depicts the entry of three nobles on a giant dolphin.
Entrée des sieurs de Vroncourt, Tyllon et Mariment, 1627.

Etching by Jacques Callott. A scene from the pageant preceding the fête Le Combat à la barrière. The print depicts the entry of three nobles on a giant dolphin. Call number *MGZFA-17 Cal J Com 3.

Louise Fitzjames, a tall and excessively thin dancer, depicted as a stalk of asparagus. Fitzjames dances in front of five other dancers depicted as vegetables.
Melle. Fitz-James, de l'Académie royale de musique, rôle d'une asperge dans un ballet de légumes. Circa 1837.

Louise Fitzjames, a tall and thin dancer, depicted as a stalk of asparagus. Fitzjames dances in front of five other dancers depicted as vegetables. Call number *MGZFB Fit L C 1.

Depicts Nijinsky in leafy costume of the Spectre. The dancer executes a leap, legs assembled in the air and body curved to his right. The name Nijinsky is cut into the block and appears left.
Le spectre de la rose by Valentine Hugo, 1912.

Woodcut depicting Nijinsky in leafy costume of the Spectre. The dancer executes a leap, legs assembled in the air and body curved to his right. The name Nijinsky is cut into the block and appears left. Call number *MGZFB Nij V Spe 1.

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Great post. I wish my

Great post. I wish my vegetables would do that, it would be so much more fun, I think.

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