[Jacob's Pillow] Lindquist, John. (1910-1985)
Collection of Jacob's Pillow Dance Photographs
A large and important collection of original signed and unsigned dance photographs from the Jacob's Pillow Festival, ca. 1940's–1960's, most by the photographer John Lindquist, from the collection of Paul McMahon. The collection contains fourteen 11 x 14 photographs, including images of Carmen de Lavallade (two signed photographs), Niels Kehlet (three signed photographs), James Clouser (five signed photographs), Robert Powell (one signed and one unsigned photograph), a signed photograph of a dancer in American Indian dress, and an unsigned photograph of Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers in mid-air; a signed 8 x 10 photograph of La Meri and Matteo in "Swan Lake," sixty-one 8 x 10 photographs of dancers, most stamped on the verso by John Lindquist; five smaller photographs; two autograph notes from John Lindquist, and invitations to exhibitions of his work. Other dancers pictured in the collection include Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Foster Fitz-Simons, Valerie Bettis, Alexandra Donilava, José Limón, Iva Kitchell, Mario Delamo, Iris Mabry, Tatiana Grantzeva, Beatrice Seckler, Margaret Severn, Katherine Sergava, Mia Slavenska, Seiko Sarina, Zachary Solov, Joseph Scoglio, Alicia Markova, and many others. In fine to very fine condition overall.
The autograph notes from John Lindquist to Paul McMahon and Ralph Hodgon (undated) are penned on a folded card with a photograph of a male dancer pulling a rope ("Dear Paul and Ralph, Thanks for the card [...] 'Have you any battles today.' Have some very interesting literature. Pretty pictures too. Love, John Lindquist.") and on the verso of an invitation to an exhibition of his works at the Boston Athenaeum in 1976 ("Dear Paul & Ralph, Hope you will see this show. The best I have ever had. J.L." - with original envelope.)
The site of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts was first bought by Ted Shawn in 1931. There he founded a dance retreat for his all-male corps, who constructed many of the buildings on the site. The retreat had evolved into the location of a summer festival by the 1940's. John Lindquist (1890–1980), who had begun photographing Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers in 1938, was the official photographer of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival until his death in 1980. In this role, he knew and photographed many of the most important American dancers of the mid-twentieth century, as well as traditional dancers from cultures around the world. A collection of more than 7,000 of Lindquist's dance photographs is held at Houghton Library at Harvard.
From the library of Paul McMahon, a critic, photographer and artist who worked for more than 13 years touring with Marlene Dietrich as the icon’s stage manager, announcer, dresser, secretary and escort, and later spent 25 years as an arts and entertainment reviewer and photographer with Gay Community News, Esplanade, Tommy’s Connection, The Mirror, Bay Windows and other publications.