- Additional Authors
- 12.7 linear feet (32 boxes)
- Annual reports.
- Financial records.
- Promotional material.
- Partially processed and cataloged in 1986 as New York City Center records, 1948-1968 under classmark (S) *MGZMD 38, now superseded by *LPA Mss 1992-001.
- Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
- Location of Other Archival Materials (note)
- Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Music Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
- Indexes/Finding Aids (note)
- Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
- Call Number
- *LPA Mss 1992-001
Baum, Morton, 1905-1968.
Morton Baum papers, 1938-1968.
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
The collection consists of administrative and financial material used in the creation and running of City Center. It also includes administrative and financial material about the creation of Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts. The Morton Baum papers document the City Center for Music and Drama Inc. detailing its formation and administration from 1943 to 1968. City Center was responsible for presenting many of the most important dance, music, opera, and drama companies and events of the mid-20th Century. The papers include the administrative and financial records of the City Center and its many constituents, including The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Ballet, The New York City Drama Company, The New York City Opera Company and many more. Also in the collection are materials about the organizing of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, including correspondence, financial material, annual reports and minutes from Board of Directors meetings, contracts, press releases, and writings about Lincoln Center. There are no personal materials in the collection.
Morton Baum was born in Manhattan on December 28, 1905. He graduated from Columbia College in 1925 and from Harvard Law School in 1928. He practiced law in partnership with his brother Lester in Manhattan. Baum's public service began early in his career and continued throughout his life. From 1930 to 1934, he served as Assistant U.S. Attorney. In 1934 he became a New York City councilman and a special tax counsel to Mayor Fiorella La Guardia. He was a consultant to Mayor Lindsay's Commission on City Finances. Baum devised and introduced the current New York City sales tax system. Baum served on the finance committee of the Metropolitan Opera Association. In 1943 the New York City Center was incorporated. The opening performance was held on December 11, 1943 (the Mayor's birthday), featuring the New York Philharmonic. Newbold Morris became the chairman of the City Center, with Morton Baum as a member of the executive committee as well as chairman of the finance committee. Before it became The New York City Center the building was named The Mecca Temple, built by the Shriner's in 1924. It was located on West 55th Street. The building was taken over by the City for non-payment of taxes. Mayor La Guardia and City Council President Newbold Morris decided that the City should utilize the building as a theater to provide "the best in entertainment at the lowest possible prices." In the early 1960s Morton Baum was instrumental in securing the City Center as constituent member of the newly-formed Lincoln Center. In 1966, after the death of Newbold Morris, Morton Baum became the new chairman of the City Center. With the assistance of Lincoln Center, NYCB and NYCO were organized into membership corporations with "City Center of Music and Drama" as the sole member. "CCMD" leased the New York State Theater from Lincoln Center, which leased it from the City of New York. Morton Baum died on February 7, 1968, at age 62 of a heart attack.
- Location of Other Archival Materials
See also typescript of an unpublished History of the New York City Center of Music and Drama, 1943-1966 (*MGZMB 85-1040) in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Heddy Baum papers (JPB 91-112) located in the Music Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
- Connect to:
Arts administrators New York (State) New York.
- Added Author
Baum, Morton, 1905-1968.
City Center of Music and Drama (New York, N. Y.)
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.)
New York City Ballet.
New York City Opera.
New York City Symphony.
Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center.
- Research Call Number
*LPA Mss 1992-001