MS Thr 458
Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942. Michel Fokine papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: MS Thr 458
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942.
Title: Michel Fokine papers,
Quantity: 1 collection (20 boxes (8 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in Russian, English, and French.
Abstract: Correspondence, clippings, photographs and costumes documenting the career of the
Russian dancer and choreographer Michel Fokine.
*2003MT-212. Purchased with the Howard Rothschild fund; received: 2016 September 2.
Processed by: Irina Klyagin
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
Michel Fokine Papers (MS Thr 458). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard
In the late 1950s Vitale Fokine donated a considerable part of Michel Fokine's archive
to the Leningrad Theatre Library in the Soviet Union. See letter from Gosudarstvennaia teatral'naia biblioteka imeni A.V. Lunacharskogo to Vitale Fokine. (20)
Description of this collection can be found in Sovetskii Balet,
1987, v. 4, pp. 46-50.
Michel Fokine (1880-1942) was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer. He created
his best-known ballets during the years of 1909-1914 when he served as choreographer
for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. In 1919 he moved to the United States where
he lived and worked until his death.
Organized into the following ten series:
- I. Compositions
- II. Correspondence
- III. Biographical material
- IV. Choreographic notes
- V. Music scores
- VI. Financial documentation
- VII. Miscellaneous
- VIII. Photographs
- IX. Newspaper clippings
- X. Costumes and shoes
The collection represents various aspects of Michel Fokine's long career in dance,
particularly from his years in America. It contains personal and business correspondence
primarily from his American period. It also contains manuscripts of his critical essays
in Russian and English, including an unfinished essay on Serge Diaghilev; biographical
material, including complete lists of his works in Russian and English; music scores
for his ballets; choreographic notes, including synopsis for his last unfinished ballet
La Belle Hélèn; some financial records; costumes and shoes, and clippings from numerous American,
European and Russian newspapers. The collection also includes photographs of him,
his wife, dancer Vera Fokine, née Antonova, and his son, dancer and teacher Vitale
- Series: VII. Miscellaneous
Includes household notes, address books and a book.
- (60). Grebenshchikov, Georgii, 1882-1964.Volchia skazka, 1927. 1 v. in folder.
A book in Russian inscribed by the author to Michel and Vera Fokine as a Christmas
- (61). Fokine, Michel. Address books, undated. 2 v. in 1 folder.
- (62). Fokine, Michel. Household notes, undated. 1 folders
Includes lists of household items and alphabetical list of research files.
- (63). Fokine, Vitale. Note on the preservation of press books : AMs, 1964 [1967?] June 1 folders
Date: 1964 [1967?]
Note from Vitale Fokine concerning problems with the preservation of press books.
- Series: VIII. Photographs
Includes portraits,postcards, group photographs, performance photographs and negatives of Michel Fokine, Vera Fokine, their son Vitale Fokine, their family, and their students. Also includes family photograph albums. Some photographs are annotated on verso. Many photographs have multiple copies.
: Organized into the following sub-series by subject, then arranged alphabetically within
- A. People.
- B. Performances.
- C. Places.
- D. Negatives and photograph albums.
- A. People
- (64). Fokine family, undated. 19 photographs in 1 folder.
Michel Fokine and Vera Antonova-Fokine families.
- (65). Michel Fokine in roles, undated. 13 photographs in 1 folder.
Includes following roles:
- Daphnis in: Daphnis and Chloe, 1 photograph.
- Faun in: Faun and Nymphs, 4 photographs.
- Harlequin in: Carnaval, 1 photograph.
- Hassan in: Hassan, 5 photographs.
- Spanish dancer in: Panaderos, self-portrait, 1 photograph.
- Perseus from: Medusa, 1 photograph.
- (66). Michel Fokine studio portraits, undated. 24 photographs in 5 folders.Oversized, shelved after item 103
- (67). Michel Fokine and Vera Fokine postcards, undated. 25 postcards in 1 folder.
- (68). Michel Fokine and Vera Fokine publicity photographs, undated. 48 photographs in 9 folders.Oversized, shelved after item 103
- (69). Vera Fokine in roles, undated. 126 photographs in 4 folders.
Includes the following ballets:
- Coq d'Or, 8 photographs.
- Dying Swan, 1 photograph.
- Fra Mino, 1 photograph.
- Lullaby, 2 photographs.
- La Rêve de la Marquise, 1 photograph.
- Salome, 27 photographs.
- Thunderbird, 1 photograph.
- Unidentified roles, 85 photographs.
- (70). Vera Fokine studio portraits, undated. 87 photographs in 3 folders.
- (71). Vitale Fokine, 1925 and undated. 14 photographs in 4 folders.
Includes photos of Vitale Fokine giving ballet classes, portraits, and family pictures.
One photograph inscribed on recto in Russian: "To dear Daddy and Mummy with love and
wishes of big success and health from Talia. New York, May 18, 1925."
- B. Places
- (72). 4 Riverside Drive, undated. 17 photographs in 1 folder.Oversized, shelved after item 103
Includes images of exterior and interior of Fokine's residence in Manhattan (New York, N.Y.).
- (73). Chateau Fleur De Lys, 1941 and undated. 20 photographs in 1 folder.
Includes images of exterior and interior of Fokine's estate in Yonkers, New York.
- (74). Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles, Calif.), undated. 5 photographs in 1 folder.
- (75). Michel Fokine Dance Studio, undated. 4 photographs in 1 folder.
- C. Performances
- (76). Cleopatra, 1913-1914. 3 photographs in 1 folder.
Inscription on recto of one print: "Michel Fokine and Vera Fokina in the 'Cleopatra'
with the Swedish Corps de Ballet Royal Opera House Stockholm, season 1913-14."
- (77). Don Juan, undated. 2 photographs in 1 folder.
- (78). Les Elves, undated. 8 photographs in 1 folder.
Includes envelope inscribed in Vitale Fokine's hand: "My 'L'elves,' Evelyn's Ballet
- (79). [Firebird?], 1937. 1 photograph in 1 folder.
- (80). Mecca, undated. 2 photographs in 1 folder.
Printed note on verso of both photographs: "Michel Fokine. Creator of the Russian
Ballet rehearsing part of the big ballet Bacchanale in 'Mecca' the spectacular production
at the Century Theater".
- (81). Petrouchka, undated. 1 photograph in 1 folder.
Possibly Bronislava Nijinska as Ballerina.
- (82). Polovtsian Dances, undated. 3 photographs in 1 folder.
- (83). La Rêve de la Marquise, undated. 2 photographs in 1 folder.
Michel and Vera Fokine in rehearsal.
- (84). Schéhérezade, undated. 5 photographs in 1 folder.
- (85). Les Sylphides, undated. 9 photographs in 1 folder.
Includes: postcard of Moira Shearer in a scene from the ballet; and a photograph of Vitale Fokine and an unidentified man surrounded by dancers.
- (86). Unidentified ballets, undated. 8 photographs in 1 folder.
- D. Negatives and photograph albums
- (87). Negatives, undated. 51 negatives in 3 folders.
Includes negatives of photographs of portraits painted by Michel Fokine, family photographs, and performances. Many are unidentified, but some negatives are
identified by Vitale Fokine:
- Grandmother Maria
- Leon and I on plane
- Ma as Angel
- Ma in Fra Mino
- Ma and I on Liberté
- Me at grave
- Parents late Yonkers period
- Spessiva [Olga Spessivtzeva] and I in Carnaval, Buenos Aires, 1930
- Spessiva [Olga Spessivtzeva] and I in Carnaval and Schéhérezade, Buenos Aires.
- (88). Photograph albums, 1925-1928, 1929-1942 and undated. 2 bound albums.
Include mounted family photographs. Some loose photographs enclosed between the pages.
- Series: X. Costumes and shoes (104) - (116) This series all shelved in Costume Storage Area
Includes Michel Fokine's and Vera Fokine's costumes, toe shoes and ballet slippers for various ballets.
- (104). Carnaval : tights. 1 pair in 1 box.Shelved with (111)
Silk tights with blue, cherry, and off-white color blocks in Harlequin pattern. The
tag attached at the waist reads: "M. Fokine. Carnaval tights".
- (105). Salome : costume. 4 pieces in 1 box.
Body suit, and parts of corsage in fabric, silver thread and rhinestones. The tag
reads: "V. Fokine. Salome."
- (106). Zapateado : shawl. 1 item in 1 box.
Silk, purple, with fringe and embroidery. The tag reads: "V. Fokine. Shawl from Zapateado."
- (108). Unidentified ballet : costume. 2 pieces in 2 boxes.
Vest and short skirt in purple velvet with fringe and gold embroidery.
- (109). Unidentified ballet : kaftan. 1 item in 1 box.
Long off-white kaftan. Pearl buttons are enclosed in a small box.
- (110). Unidentified ballet : piece of fabric. 1 piece in 1 box.
Red and yellow square piece of fabric with two roses in the center.
- (111). Unidentified ballet : shirt. 1 itemsShelved with (104)
White linen shirt with red and blue cross-stitch embroidery.
- (112). Unidentified ballet : slip. 1 itemsShelved with (107)
Satin slip, beige.
- (113). Unidentified ballet : vest. 1 item in 1 box.
Long vest in beige and gold fabric with gold thread trim.
- (114). Unidentified toe shoes. 2 pairs and 3 unmatched toe shoes in 1 box.
Unused pink satin toe shoes: one pair by A. L. Gamba,London, one pair by J. Crait,Paris, ballet shoe maker for Opéra de Paris, and three unmatched toe shoes by the same makers, all without ribbons.
- (115). Unidentified ballet slipper. 1 slipper.Shelved with (116)
White leather right ballet slipper with a torn piece of elastic attached.
- (116). Vera Fokine : toe shoes. 1 pair.Shelved with (115)
Pink toe shoes with ribbons. The left shoe inscribed on the sole: Vera Fokine.