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Jack Cole Scrapbook Collection

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106
Dates of Creation 1910s-1970s
Name of Creator Jack Cole
Language of Material English
Physical Description 5 scrapbooks and 2 boxes (18 files)

Scope and Content

This collection consists of scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence, theatrical ephemera and cuttings collected by and relating to the life and career of dancer and choreographer Jack Cole.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jack Cole began his career as a Denishawn dancer with Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, and continued with Ted Shawn's All-Male Dancers. In 1932 he and another ex-Denishawn dancer, Alice Dudley, began dancing in clubs, including the Rainbow Room, Ciro's, and the Flamingo. He also appeared on stage in venues such as Radio City Music Hall.

He developed a highly personal and eclectic style, based on the techniques learned in his early training, but grafting on elements from Indian, Oriental, Carribean, Latin American, Spanish, and African-American dance. He was known for his unpredictability and originality, for example setting authentic Hindu dance movements to a contemporary jazz score.

From 1937 until 1968 he also worked on Broadway and in Hollywood as both dancer and choreographer. His choreography for Villa Lobos' Magdelena won him the Donaldson Award, and he had success on Broadway with Kismet, Something for the Boys, Jamaica, Man of La Mancha, and Alive and Kicking among others. Films included Kismet, Three for the Show and Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. It is, however, for his choreography for Marilyn Monroe that he will be popularly remembered; he worked with her on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bus Stop, Some Like It Hot, and Let's Make Love.

Jack Cole died in 1974.

Arrangement

This collection has been arranged into the following series:

  • THM/106/1 - Scrapbooks
  • THM/106/2 - Photographs
  • THM/106/3 - Programmes and theatrical ephemera
  • THM/106/4 - Correspondence
  • THM/106/5 - Jack Cole dance cuttings
  • THM/106/6 - General dance cuttings

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm. Access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level.

Conditions Governing Use

Archival material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the reading room using non-flash photography.

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.

Acquisition Information

This collection was purchased by the V&A in 1979.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Jack Cole may be found in the biographical files as well as the library collections.

Please ask for details.

Subjects

Dancers
Choreographers -- United States

Personal Names

Dudley, Alice
Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)
Monroe, Marilyn. ( 1926-1962)
Shawn, Ted. ( 1891-1972)
St. Denis, Ruth. ( 1880-1968)

Cataloguing Info

Title Jack Cole Scrapbook Collection
Creation Created by Veronica Castro using the cheshire for archives ead creation tool 2011-11-03

Scrapbooks

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/1
Dates of Creation 1930s-1950s
Physical Description 5 scrapbooks

Scope and Content

This file consists of five large leather-bound scrapbooks. These contain review, feature and image cuttings, research images, personal and production photographs, correspondence and other personal ephemera collected and compiled by Jack Cole. In addition, many pages are decorated by Cole with pen and ink illustrations (in black and white as well as colour), and some pages feature image collages.

Personal Names

Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)

Scrapbook 1

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/1/1
Dates of Creation 1930s
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

This scrapbook contains materials relating to the start of Cole's career as a dancer in the Denishawn Dance Compay of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Materials include autographed production programmes and personal and production photographs as well as letters written to Cole from Shawn. Dated materials range from 1930 to 1938.

Personal Names

Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)
Shawn, Ted. ( 1891-1972)
St. Denis, Ruth. ( 1880-1968)

Scrapbook 2

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/1/2
Dates of Creation 1930s
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

This scrapbook contains personal family photographs and a number of photographs of Cole with dancer Alice Dudley. Dated materials range from 193 to 1937, with some family photographs dated 1912 and 1913.

Personal Names

Dudley, Alice
Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)

Scrapbook 3

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/1/3
Dates of Creation 1930s-1940s
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

This scrapbook contains materials relating to performances in South America, including autographed items. Dated materials range from 1930 to 1941.

Personal Names

Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)

Scrapbook 4

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/1/4
Dates of Creation 1940s
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

This scrapbook contains a paper and fabric collage, Florida holiday snaps and a number of photographic studies of the male body. Dated materials range from 1947 to 1949.

Personal Names

Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)

Scrapbook 5

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/1/5
Dates of Creation 1950s
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

This scrapbook contains a magazine profile of Cole, photographic collages and a number of photographs of Cole with his dogs. Materials date from 1950.

Personal Names

Cole , Jack. ( 1911-1974)

Photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2
Dates of Creation 1819 - 1950s
Physical Description 3 folders

Scope and Content

These files contain personal and career-related photographs collected by Cole. Folders of photographs relating to specific films also include review and feature cuttings. Dated materials range from the 1910s to the 1950s. Also included is a folder of general images for scrap-booking.

Personal Names

Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)

Family photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2/1
Dates of Creation c. 1819-1940s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains sepia-tint photographs of Cole as a young boy and various family members. Two are annotated, none are dated.

Conditions Governing Access

This folder contains sensitive material, as some photographs contain nudity.


Personal photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2/2
Dates of Creation c. 1930s-1940s
Physical Description 2 folders

Scope and Content

These folders contain a collection of personal photographs, in colour and black and white, which includes; portraits of Cole, autographed portraits, images of Cole's home, pets and friends, dancer portraits, holiday snaps and a set of negatives. Some photographs are annotated and signed, most are unsigned. Dated materials range from 1931 to 1948.

Conditions Governing Access

This folder contains sensitive material, as some photographs contain nudity.

Personal Names

Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)

Film photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2/3
Dates of Creation 1940s - 1950s
Physical Description 9 folders

Scope and Content

These folders contain black and white production photographs relating to movies on which Cole either worked as main choreographer or appeared as a dancer with his dance troupe. The folders also contain review and feature cuttings from American newspapers and publications.

Personal Names

Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)

Moon Over Miami

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2/3/1
Dates of Creation 1941

Scope and Content

This folder contains production photographs of Jack Cole and his dance troupe appearing in Moon Over Miami. One photograph has a review cutting pasted onto the reverse, 1941.

Administrative / Biographical History

Moon Over Miami was directed by Walter Lang in 1941 and starred Betty Grable and Don Ameche. Jack Cole and his dancers appeared in the dance-number scenes.

Personal Names

Ameche, Don
Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)
Grable, Betty. ( 1916-1973)
Lang, Walter. ( 1898-1972)

Meet Me After the Show

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2/3/2
Dates of Creation 1951
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains production photographs and cuttings relating to Meet Me After the Show. Some photographs are annotated. All photographs and cuttings date from 1951.

Administrative / Biographical History

Meet Me After The Show was directed by Richard Sale in 1951 and starred Betty Grable. Cole was the choreographer for this film.

Personal Names

Owen, Jack
Grable, Betty. ( 1916-1973)
Sale, Richard. ( 1911-1993)

On the Riviera

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2/3/3
Dates of Creation 1951
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains production photographs and cuttings relating to On the Riviera. One photograph is annotated. All photographs and cuttings date from 1951.

Administrative / Biographical History

On the Riviera was directed by Walter Lang in 1951 and starred Danny Kaye and Gene Tierney. Cole was the choreographer for this film.

Personal Names

Tierney, Gene
Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)
Lang, Walter. ( 1898-1972)
Kaye, Danny

David and Bathsheba

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2/3/4
Dates of Creation 1952
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains production photographs and cuttings relating to David and Bathsheba. All photographs and cuttings date from 1952.

Administrative / Biographical History

David and Bathsheba was directed by Henry King in 1951, and starred Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward. Cole was the choreographer for this film.

Personal Names

King, Henry
Hayward, Susan
Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)
Peck, Gregory. ( 1916-2003)

Three For the Show

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/106/2/3/5
Dates of Creation 1953
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains production photographs and cuttings relating to Three For the Show. All photographs and cuttings date from 1953.

Administrative / Biographical History

Three For the Show was directed by H.C. Potter in 1953 and starred Betty Grable and Jack Lemmon. Cole was the choreographer for this film.

Personal Names

Cole, H.C.
Lemmon, Jack
Cole, Jack. ( 1911-1974)
Grable, Betty. ( 1916-1973)