Research Catalog

Cia Fornaroli and Walter Toscanini papers

Cia Fornaroli and Walter Toscanini papers, 1842-1971 and undated (1900-1971 and undated, bulk dates).
Toscanini, Walter, 1898-1971.
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Box 1Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 1Offsite
Box 2Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 2Offsite
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Box 8Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 8Offsite
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Box 10Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 10Offsite
Box 11Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 11Offsite
Box 12Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 12Offsite
Box 13Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 13Offsite
Box 14Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 14Offsite
Box 15Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 15Offsite
Box 16Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 16Offsite
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Box 19Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 19Offsite
Box 20Mixed materialSupervised use (S) *MGZMD 216 Box 20Offsite


Additional Authors
80 linear feet (72 boxes)
  • Artwork.
  • Clippings.
  • Correspondence.
  • Manuscripts (document genre)
  • Notebooks.
  • Personal papers.
  • Photographs.
  • Research (document genres)
  • Scores.
  • Scrapbooks.
Language (note)
  • The majority of this collection is in Italian.
Indexes/Finding Aids (note)
  • Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Call Number
(S) *MGZMD 216
  • 243773014
  • 243773014
Toscanini, Walter, 1898-1971.
Cia Fornaroli and Walter Toscanini papers, 1842-1971 and undated (1900-1971 and undated, bulk dates).
The papers, primarily spanning the years 1900-1971, document the professional lives of Cia Fornaroli and Walter Toscanini: Cia as prima ballerina, choreographer and director and Walter as dance historian, curator and writer. The collection is arranged in three series: the Cia Fornaroli series which includes personal papers, correspondence, research files by year, photographs, and clippings; the Walter Toscanini series which includes historical research filed by year, notebooks and office files (correspondence, invoices, etc); and the Oversized series which contains Walter's oversized historical research filed by year. Of particular interest are Cia's publicity and teaching material as connected with the Cecchetti method, her scrapbook entitled Cia-Vista Dagli Artisti which includes artwork by artists such as Anselmo Bucci, Pietro Canonica and Francesco Nonni, which honor Cia's skill and beauty as a dancer, and documents (photographs, programs and clippings) pertaining to her dance lessons and contributions to the Casino Municipale di San Remo company. Walter's correspondence found in Office Files, particularly with Antonio Chiesa, Antonio Corcione, Paolo Fabbri, Ifan Kyrle Fletcher, Ivor Guest, Gladys Lasky, La Scala Ballet Theatre/School, Lillian Moore, and Ted Shawn/Jacob's Pillow, as well as his research files on Guglielmo Ebreo, Fanny Elssler, Carlo Blasis and Gaspare Angiolini, are also of especial interest. Missing from the collection is significant documentation of Walter's employment in RCA Manufacturing Company's Recording and Record Sales division or related work upon his father's behalf. In addition, few official records documenting Walter and Cia's marriage, financial status, and relationship with one another or with Arturo Toscanini are available within collection.
Cia Fornaroli was a prima ballerina, choreographer, teacher and director, and Walter Toscanini was a dance historian, collector and curator, primarily in Milan and New York. Lucia Fornaroli Toscanini (b Oct 16, 1888, Milan Italy; d Aug 16, 1954, New York, NY), wife of Walter Toscanini and daughter of Giovanni Fornaroli and Santina Volonté, better known as Cia Fornaroli, was a disciple of the Academy of Dance of Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Instructed by Adelaide Vignanò, Caterina Beretta, Achille Coppini and Raffaele Grassi, she became a renowned figure of Italian ballet. From 1910 to 1914, she was première danseuse at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, and later, she danced in Argentina, Spain, Austria, Germany and Italy. The scene of her great contribution to ballet was at La Scala (Milan), where she danced in 1918 and again from 1921 to 1932. Here she won wide acclaim as prima ballerina, appearing in such ballets as Il Principe Mahit, Casanova a Venezia, Il Convento Venziano and Vecchia Milano. In 1929 she was appointed Director of La Scala Ballet School in succession from Enrico Cecchetti, who had considered her one of the best students of his method and expressed the wish that she should follow him. Holding this post until 1932, she taught many Italian ballerinas who later became prominent, including Nives Poli, Attilia Radice and Teresa Legnani. As a choreographer, having been an early experimenter in the symphonic ballet form, she produced La Primavera and Concerto dell' Estate for the Casino Municipale di San Remo company in 1933. She and her husband, Dr. Walter Toscanini, noted as a specialist in the history of Italian Ballet, later settled in New York, where, from 1943 to 1950, she directed her own ballet school. Walter Enrico Claudio Pietro Toscanini (b Mar 21, 1898, Turin, Italy; d July 1971, New York, NY), son of Arturo Toscanini and Carlotta De Martini, obtained a law degree while attending the Universities of Pavia and Urbino in Italy, Yet, it is in the field of dance that Walter Toscanini chose to focus his energies. As an author (e.g. of pen names are Gualtiero De Martini and L'Intristio), editor (La Danza or Perseo), curator/director (Brera Library at Milan, State Archives of Milan and Milan conservatory of Music) and rare book collector /dealer (e.g. Bottega di Poesia and Antiquariato Walter Toscanini and Co.), Toscanini determinedly pursued facts and items to further his understanding of dance history, as well as to share his deep appreciation of the art form. In 1923, he published L'Arte della Danza, e dell' Arte di Cia Fornaroli under his pen name Gualtiero De Martini, ca. 1940 he wrote a choreodrama based upon Fanny Elssler's life and ca. 1968 he devoted his written efforts to the topic of Maria Teresa Fogliazzi. Of special interest to him, as revealed by the extent of his research, were the experiences and writings of Guglielmo Ebreo and Gaspare Angiolini. Cia Fornaroli and Walter Toscanini had one son, Walfredo, on August 16, 1929 and were married on June 18, 1938.
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
The majority of this collection is in Italian.
Connect to:
Teacher educators.
Local Subject
Dance -- History.
Dance critics and criticism.
Added Author
Fornaroli, Cia, 1888-1954.
Toscanini, Walter, 1898-1971.
Angiolini, Gasparo, 1731-1803.
Blasis, Carlo, 1803-1878.
Elssler, Fanny, 1810-1884.
Guglielmo, Ebreo da Pesaro, approximately 1420-approximately 1481.
Casinò di Sanremo (San Remo, Italy)
Research Call Number
(S) *MGZMD 216
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