The legendary Paper Ball of 1936, or Le Cirque des Chiffonniers, was held on the last evening of the Hartford Festival and sponsored by the Friends and Enemies of Modern Music and the Wadsworth Atheneum. The festival included multiple innovative forms of art, including performances of modern music by composers such as Stravinsky and Satie, artwork by Calder, and the ballet "Magic" by Balanchine, with set designs by Tchelitchew.
The Ball itself was held in the Avery Memorial Annex, built in the traditional modernist Bauhaus style and transformed into a magical, otherworldly space by Tchelitchew. The artist converted it into what Chick Austin, the director of the museum, described as "...a sort of newspaper heaven of incredible delicacy, shimmering with extraordinary color" (David Leddick, Intimate Companions: A Triography of George Platt Lynes, painter Paul Cadmus, and critic Lincoln Kirstein, 92). The walls were covered in newspaper and the opera boxes were painted. Guests arrived in elaborate costumes made entirely out of paper.
"Each guest was grandly announced as he or she swept into the hall and swirled around the grand baroque fountain in the center. Many of the guests had come on a special train from New York. The beautiful young actress Ruth Ford was borne in on a palanquin as an Indian princess, her bearers including her brother Charles Henri Ford and his pal, the writer Parker Tyler. They were dressed in paper cowboy costumes, and later in the evening, it is claimed, they threw themselves into the fountain, where their costumes disintegrated" (Ibid., 146).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale