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Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, and Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955 - 1972

In August 1960, the choreographer Anna Halprin, the inventor of task-based improvisation, taught an experimental workshop on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais, north of San Francisco, attended by Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer. Within two years, Forti’s conceptually forceful dance constructions premiered in Yoko Ono’s loft in New York and Rainer co-founded the groundbreaking Judson Dance Theater. Radical Bodies examines the artistic relationships between Halprin, Forti, and Rainer, shedding light on each artist’s contribution to history. Dance was a conceptual engine of the art world in the 1960s. Halprin, Forti, and Rainer, all Californians with Jewish roots, opened the way to a radicalized, communitarian vision for performance that continues to influence choreographers and visual artists around the world to the present day.

Curated by Ninotchka D. Bennahum (Professor of Theater and Dance, UCSB), Wendy Perron (Former Editor in Chief, Dance Magazine; Adjunct Professor, NYU Tisch School of the Arts) and Bruce Robertson (Professor of Art History and Director of the AD&A Museum, UCSB), Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955 – 1972 consists of photographs, rare films, and original choreographic scores and drawings by Halprin, Forti, and Rainer, as well as work inspired by them by such artists as Imogen Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, and George Brecht. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, co-published by University of California Press, with essays by Bennahum, Perron, and Robertson, as well as essays by John Rockwell (former dance critic of The New York Times), and Halprin collaborator Morton Subotnick. Also in the catalogue are never-before-published letters by Forti to Halprin in the early ’60s.


This exhibition is organized by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara with generous support provided by the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., the Ceil and Michael Pulitzer Foundation, the Metabolic Studio, and Jody and John Arnhold, Victoria Hendler, and Eva and Yoel Haller.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts gratefully acknowledges the leadership support of Dorothy and Lewis. B. Cullman. Additional support for exhibitions has been provided by Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg and the Miriam and Harold Steinberg Foundation.

Photo: Ann Halprin, The Branch, the Halprins’ dance deck, Kentfield, California, c. 1957: A. A. Leath, Ann Halprin, and Simone Forti. Photograph by Warner Jepson. The Estate of Warner Jepson © by Warner Jepson - 2017. Museum Of Performance + Design, San Francisco.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, AD&D Museum UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Barbara Theater/Dance

Open now. Ends September 16th, 2017.

How the British Empire built the transportation and communications infrastructure that allowed them to win the colonial contest for eastern North America.
President and founder of New York City Urban Debate League and his team of dedicated debate advocates discuss the crucial importance of debate to democracy and the Library's role in supporting young debaters.
In honor of National Poetry Month, and what would have been her 89th birthday, we celebrate the life and work of, Dr. Maya Angelou, with this Research Guide. Here, you will find an overview of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s holdings related to the work and life of this notable poet, writer, journalist, actress, and dancer.
Enjoy some Opening Day moments for both the New York Mets and New York Yankees that have proved to be memorable as the years have gone by.

Hilary Knight’s Stage Struck World

Hilary Knight was born stage-struck, ninety years ago. Best known as the illustrator of the American classic Eloise, he cites the performing arts as the single greatest influence on his life and career.

As a child, Knight was fascinated by the circus and could not get enough of Broadway. His artist parents introduced him to musicals with Jumbo in 1935. His early theatrical influences were Ethel Merman in Red, Hot and Blue; Gertrude Lawrence in Lady in the Dark; and the sensational Carmen Miranda in The Streets of Paris. The movies were another source of inspiration and obsession. Designer Adrian’s extravagant costumes for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) mesmerized him; child star Sabu in Elephant Boy (1937) became a hero.

After studying at the Art Students' League with Reginald Marsh, and then a stint in the US Navy in World War II, Knight designed sets under the exacting eye of the legendary George Abbott at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. Eloise became a national and international bestseller in the 1950's, and Knight's children's book career took off with titles such as Where's Wallace, and The Circus is Coming! Yet his work in the theater continued with iconic Broadway posters, including No, No, Nanette, Irene, Half a Sixpence, and the burlesque musical Sugar Babies, starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller, among many others.

Now for the first time, Hilary Knight’s stage-struck life is the subject of a comprehensive exhibition that includes original artwork for posters; theatrical illustrations for Vanity Fair magazine (where Knight is a contributing editor); Knight’s most recent work — three-dimensional portraits in stage-like settings — and costume and set designs for performances and revues that reveal that for Hilary Knight, all the world is indeed a stage.


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Made possible by the generous support of Terry Allen Kramer.

Open now. Ends September 1st, 2017.

The experience of women in 1790s New York City, from the records of the NYC Almshouse and Bridewell.

Mornings, Monterey: an exhibit of photographs by Bailey Ann Rosen

Come to Morningside Heights Library (2900 Broadway, between 113th & 114th) to view Mornings, Monterey: an exhibit of photographs by Bailey Ann Rosen.

A reception will be held on the 1st floor on Thursday, April 26, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm.

Bailey has been practicing photography for the past twenty years.  She studied photography at the City College of San Francisco, where she lived for twelve years.  Earlier she studied filmmaking which is reflected in her narrative series style of photography.  Monterey Mornings was photographed using film over a span of ten years on the beaches of Monterey California.

Bailey lives and works in New York City.


March 18th, 2017 - April 30th, 2017

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The surprisingly modern public relations tactics of Tammany Hall--New York's most infamous nineteenth-century society.


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