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THM/165 - Valentine Gross Archive

Valentine Gross Archive

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This material is held atV&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165
Dates of Creation1700-1960s
Name of CreatorValentine Gross
Language of Material English French
Physical Description 117 files (120 folders) and 245 items

Scope and Content

The archive includes material relating to performing arts in early 19th century in the form of press cuttings, souvenir programmes, illustrations, prints, correspondence, notes, photographs, preliminary sketches, drawings, illustrations, pastels and woodcut-style drawings.

The material plays emphasis on the ballet and opera productions of Diaghilev Ballets Russes and dancers active in Paris in early 20th century including Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina. However, there are preliminary sketches of dancers in Les Sylphides, London Festival Ballet in 1958. In addition, the material covers other subjects including cinema, dance and theatre in the 18th century to early 20th century.

Administrative / Biographical History

This archive contains mostly papers collected or artwork created by Valentine Gross and notes created by Richard Buckle.

Valentine Gross, a.k.a. Valentine Hugo (1887 - 1968), was a French art ballet enthusiast, illustrator, researcher and painter and still a student at the time of 1909 Saison Russe in Paris. She witnessed annual seasons of Diaghilev Ballets Russes in Paris and made preliminary sketches during rehearsals and performances between 1909 and 1920. Allegedly she attended every ballet performance presented by Diaghilev in Paris in the years 1909 - 1914. She later worked them up into pencil or coloured drawings of various degrees of finish including illustrations, pastels and paintings. Her pastels were exhibited at the 1913 opening season of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. She was married to Jean Hugo between 1919 to 1929.

Richard Buckle (1916 - 2001) was a dance critic and one of the founders of the Friends of the Museum of Performing Arts. He was a key figure responsible for the acquisition of a vast number of costumes and memorabilia relating to Diaghilev Ballets Russes in the late 1960s and 1970s for the Friends of the Museum of Performing Arts. Collections held by the Friends of the Museum of Performing Arts were donated to the V&A in 1974 which today form the collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance.

Richard Buckle in his book Nijinsky on Stage, published a selection of the drawings giving detailed analysis of each one. For this he interviewed Lydia Sokolova, a performer of the Diaghilev Ballets Russes, whose notes on the drawings are also found in the archive.

Arrangement

The archive has been arranged into four series:

  • THM/165/1 - Press cuttings, prints and notes relating to artists, productions and performing art subject related
  • THM/165/2 - Correspondence, notes and printed illustrations
  • THM/165/3 - Photographs of dancers and actors
  • THM/165/4 - Preliminary sketches, drawings, illustrations and woodcut-style drawings

Conditions Governing Access

This archive 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 Tuesdays to Fridays 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. For licensing and requesting high resolution images or prints of materials please enquiry at V&A Image Picture Agency at http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/f/finding-and-buying-images/.

Appraisal Information

This archive was appraised in line with the V&A collection management policy.

Acquisition Information

Donated through Richard Buckle by Jean Hugo in 1978.

Custodial History

Richard Buckle was a friend of Jean Hugo and amongst the first donations he received for his nascent theatre museum, subsumed in 1974 into the V&A for the Theatre Museum were a selection of drawings, notes and ephemera from Valentine Gross, Hugo’s first wife. The gathering of material by Buckle is described in the second volume of his autobiography In the Wake of Diaghilev, London: Collins, 1982. Once in Buckle’s collection he used the material as a working tool for his publications adding his own notes and other material to it. Some souvenir programmes for the Ballets Russes and other not-unique material has been removed from the archive which includes working material Valentine Gross drew on for her illustrations. It appears that the archive has been re-organised on several occasions before this formal catalogue was created.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

Preliminary sketches, drawings, pastels, illustrations and woodcut-style drawings from the Valentine Gross Archive have been catalogued as museum objects, and can be found on Search the Collection.

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Material relating to Diaghilev Ballets Russes productions in the United Kindgon as well as material for the performers, in general may be found in several collections, including biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details via our enquiry service.

Bibliography

  • BUCKLE, Richard. Nijinsky on Stage, London: Studio Vista, 1971.
  • BUCKLE, Richard. Exhibition of Drawings: Nijinsky, Karsavina and the Diaghilev Ballet 1909 -1914, London: Hartnol & Eyre, 1973.
  • KAHANE, Martine. Nijinsky 1889 - 1950, Paris: Reunion des Musées Nationaux, 2002.

Subjects

Ballet -- 20th century
Ballet companies

Personal Names

Gross, Valentine. ( 1887-1968)
Buckle, Richard. ( 1916-2001)
Sokolova, Lydia. ( 1896-1974)
Nijinsky, Vaslav. ( 1890-1950)
Diaghilev, Serge. ( 1872-1929)
Hugo, Jean. ( 1894-1984)

Corporate Names

Ballets Russes

Geographical Names

Paris -- (France)
London -- (England)

Cataloguing Info

TitleValentine Gross Archive
CreationCreated by intern using the cheshire for archives ead creation tool 2012-07-03
Revisions

Press cuttings, prints and notes relating to artists, productions and performing arts subject related

Reference Number(s)GB THM/165/1
Dates of Creation1700-1960s
Physical Description 97 files (101 folders)

Scope and Content

The series contains press cuttings, prints, programmes, photographs, notes and correspondence relating to a number of artists, productions of ballet and opera of Diaghilev Ballets Russes and performing arts related subjects. Most of press cuttings are in French from editions of Comœdia Illustré, Vogue, Le Theatre, L'Illustration, La Danse and Femina. Some press cuttings are in English from Harpers Bazar, The Sketch, The Tatler and Vanity Fair.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files are open.


Press cuttings, prints and notes relating to artists active in early 20th century

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1
Dates of Creation1700-1960s
Physical Description 36 files (36 folders)

Scope and Content

This subseries contains press cuttings, prints, programmes, photographs, notes and correspondence relating to a number of performers and people associated with performing arts in Paris in early 20th century.


Press cuttings and prints relating to actors

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/1
Dates of Creationunknown
Language of Material English French
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to a variety of actors including Jacques Chensi, P.B. Isola, Emile Isola, Vincent Poiret, Paul Porel, Sir Frank Benson, Lilian McCarthy, Henry Ainley and Elsie Janis.


Press cuttings relating to actresses active in the 20th century

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/2
Dates of Creation1920
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to a number of the 20th century French actresses including Mme Roucourt and Mme Rachel.


Press cuttings and correspondence relating to Léon Bakst

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/3
Dates of Creation1913-1924
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings and a handwritten letter by Léon Bakst to Valentine Gross in 1913.


Press cuttings and prints relating to Sarah Bernhardt

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/4
Dates of Creation1920
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings and prints relating to Sarah Bernhardt.


Press cuttings and prints relating to Boris Godunov (Borys Godunoff)

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/5
Dates of Creation1913
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

An article from Comoedia Illustré in 1913 and a reproduction of costume designs by Léon Bakst for Boris Godunov (also transliterated Borys Godunoff).


Press cuttings relating to Charlie Chaplin

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/6
Dates of Creation1919
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to Charlie Chaplin.


Press cuttings relating to William S. Hart

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/7
Dates of Creation1900-1930
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings, film and stills, relating to William S. Hart.


Press cuttings and prints relating to Pearl White

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/8
Dates of Creation1919
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings and cinema programme relating to Pearl White.


Press cuttings relating to Mary Pickford

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/9
Dates of Creation1920
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to Mary Pickford.


Press cuttings relating to Douglas Fairbanks

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/10
Dates of Creation1900-1930
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to Douglas Fairbanks.


Press cuttings relating to Gaby Deslys

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/11
Dates of Creation1914-1920
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to Gaby Deslys including obituary and her stage partnership with Harry Pilcer.


Photographic prints depicting Spanish dancer Laura de Santelmo

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/12
Dates of Creation1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Photographic prints depicting Spanish dancer Laura de Santelmo (1897-1977) active in Paris during 1920s.


Press cuttings and prints relating to Suzanne-Després

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/13
Dates of Creation1900-1930
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings and prints relating to actress Suzanne-Després.


Press cuttings relating to Serge Diaghilev death

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/14
Dates of Creation1929
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to Serge Diaghilev death on 19 August 1929 in Venice.


Press cuttings relating to Michel Fokine and Vera Fokina

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/15
Dates of Creation1909-1942
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Images and press cuttings of Michel Fokine and Vera Fokina including obituary of Michel Fokine by Serge Lifar in 1942.


Press cuttings and prints relating to Loïe Fuller

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/16
Dates of Creation1921
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings and prints relating to Loïe Fuller including a programme of Thêatré Municipal du Châtelet for Fuller and her school and an illustration depicting Loïe Fuller in Salomé.


Press cuttings and letters relating to Pierre Gardel

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/17
Dates of Creation1758-1840s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings and copies of letters relating to Pierre Gardel (1758 -1840) from Archives de L'Opéra.


Press cuttings and prints relating to Yvette Guilbert

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/18
Dates of Creation1915
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings and prints relating to Yvette Guilbert.


Press cuttings relating to Tamara Karsavina

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/19
Dates of Creation1911-1922
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to Tamara Karsavina.


Press cuttings relating to Maria Kousnetzoff

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/20
Dates of Creation1900-1930
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings, mostly portraits, relating to Maria Kousnetzoff.


Press cuttings relating to Khovanchina

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/21
Dates of Creation1900-1930
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Excerpt from Comoedia Illustré relating to Khovanchina.


Press cuttings and prints relating to Lydia Lopokova

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/22
Dates of Creation1910-1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to Lydia Lopokova and 1 sheet of souvenir programme of Les Femmes de bonne humeur, Diaghilev Ballets Russes in 1919 or 1920.


Press cuttings relating to Jean Marais

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/23
Dates of Creation1900-1930
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings relating to Jean Marais.


Press cuttings relating to Mlle Mistinguett

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/24
Dates of Creation1927
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cuttings, mostly portraits, relating to Mlle Mistinguett.


Press cuttings and prints relating to Vaslav Nijinsky

Reference Number(s)GB 71 THM/165/1/1/25
Dates of Creation1909-1960s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Press cutings relating to Vaslav Nijinsky and two notices of the 1914 Fine Arts Society exhibition of portraits of Nijinsky in London. In fact, the first time that Valentine Gross had exhibited in London.