Dance We Must

Last month the exhibition Dance We Must: Treasures from Jacob’s Pillow, 1906-1940 opened at Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), Williamstown in Western Massachusetts. I worked as costume curator and mounter working alongside Eugénie Prendergast Senior Curator of American Art Kevin Murphy, the exhibition is a collaboration between WCMA and Jacob’s Pillow.

Dance We Must is designed to highlight the careers of Modern Dance pioneers Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, utilising many unseen items from the extensive archive at Jacob’s Pillow. The exhibition is created around over 350 items including 30 costumes and accessories, over 200 photographs, original set pieces and touring trunks as well as a dozen original artworks.

I was both costume curator and mounter for Dance We Must, working on all costume elements as well as preparing and installing 30 mannequins. Before the exhibition checklist could be created I first needed to catalogue the extensive Jacob’s Pillow Costume Collection which until this year was still housed in the original wooden and metal touring trunks. Over the next few weeks I will share some insights into this process and the preparation of the selected costumes for the exhibition.

You can read about the cataloguing process here.

The exhibition is open seven days a week and runs until November 11th 2018.

Dance We Must has had some great press coverage including The New York Times and Berkshire Eagle.