National Museum of Dance
National Museum of Dance
National Museum of Dance

American Ballet Theatre

In 2011, the Museum presented the sweeping retrospective, American Ballet Theatre: Then and Now. Guest curator and former American Ballet Theatre dancer Denise Warner Limoli selected an array of costumes, programs, artifacts, and photographs to articulate the history of the company including its legendary artistic directors and signature productions. Featured objects included costumes worn by Alicia Markova and Mikhail Baryshnikov, as well as the Queen Mother costume from Swan Lake (1967), worn exclusively by the company’s co-founder and director Lucia Chase until her retirement in 1980. This exhibition coincided with the Hall of Fame induction of award-winning set designer and co-director of American Ballet Theatre Oliver Smith. At the completion of the exhibition, the Museum was given thirteen costumes on permanent loan. These costumes, in addition to original photographs, and a vast range of programs from American Ballet Theatre and its predecessor Ballet Theatre, comprise the majority of the collection. Several personal objects such as passports and scrapbooks from Lucia Chase were given to the Museum in 1992 by Lois Doherty-Mander, executive director of the Lucia Chase Foundation.