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Staff Pick

Images from the Ballets Russes

November-December 2019

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Russian ballerina Lubov Tchernicheva, 1920 production of Cleopatra 
Russian ballerina Lubov Tchernicheva in Cleopatra, 1920. © E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection/Curatorial Assistance Inc.


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Russian ballerina Lubov Tchernicheva, 1920 production of Cleopatra 
Russian ballerina Lubov Tchernicheva in Cleopatra, 1920. © E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection/Curatorial Assistance Inc.

Russian ballerina Lubov Tchernicheva, pictured here for a 1920 production of Cleopatra, was ballet mistress of the Ballets Russes in the latter 1920s, and played a vital role in promoting groundbreaking dance movements until her death in 1976. (Her papers are held at Harvard’s Houghton Library.) This sensual shot is among the 73 platinum prints in Emil Hoppé: Photographs from the Ballets Russes, at the Museum of Russian Icons. Also featured are the legendary dancers Vaslav Nijinsky, Adolph Bolm, Michel and Vera Fokine, and Tamara Karsavina—and others who orbited impresario and Ballet Russes founder Sergei Diaghilev.

Hoppé, an internationally renowned photographer of the 1920s and ’30s, fit right in. His London studio drew artists, intellectuals, couturiers, celebrities, literary stars, and members of the royal family. Thus, as the exhibit notes, he captured creative forces and dance performers that “shocked the senses and seduced the world into the modern era.”

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A table with a fancy menu and table settings.

The exhibit's centerpiece re-creates the table setting of a formal dinner held for freshmen of the Harvard Class of 1913. 

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.© President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Why we eat what we do

A grinning woman in traditional Nigerian dress sits cross-legged on the floor surrounded by modern devices, including a power strip, a land-line telephone, and a desktop computer displaying on its screen a duplicate image of the entire montage.

Click on arrow at right to see image gallery

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Photograph by Fatimah Tuggar and BintaZarah Studios/Courtesy of the Davis Museum

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A spoof passport written in Spanglish for the fictional country El Spirit Republic of Puerto Rico, with a domino in place of a national seal on its cover

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Transfer from the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, Gift of the artist, 2012.178. © ADзL. Image courtesy of Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum

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