309
309
Duncan, Isadora
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 3,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT
309
Duncan, Isadora
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 3,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

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New York

Duncan, Isadora
Typed letter signed (and dated in her hand), 2 pages (10  3/4 x 8  3/8  in.; 273 x 213 mm), Nice, 12 January 1927, to Henry Ford; horizontal fold, some spotting, chipping and creasing at extremities.
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Catalogue Note

Isadora Duncan lectures Henry Ford on modern dance and "the sex instinct."  In 1926, Ford and his wife began a campaign to save the young people of America from the Charleston, the black bottom, and other lascivious dances.  They advocated a return to the minuet, the waltz, the quadrille, and other respectable forms of dance.  Duncan writes, "... I think you are making an error, however, for all the so-called ball-room dancing, whether it be the old-fashioned Polka and Valse, or the modern charleston and Black Bottom, springs from the same source.  The form may differ, but the expression is the same.  The source of all is the sex instinct, and I believe that all these dances, whether of 1851 or of 1927 are inadvisable in the education of children ....The dance which should be taught to the children of every school in America is the great American dance as I discovered it, inspired by the work and courage of the first Forty-niners, inspired by the vast plains, the Rocky Mountains ... the spontaneous American dance which sprung from the inspiration of our only Bard Walt Whitman ....

"... Just as you would not teach a child of any free Republic the doctrines of Louis XV or George III, so you would not teach to a child the servile courtesan movement of the Minuet or the coquettish sex expression of the Polka.  and I would as soon think of teaching a child to repeat a string of foul language as to allow it to dance either the charleston or the Black Bottom.

"Dear Mr. Henry Ford, if you want to teach dancing to the children in your cities, send me an invitation and I will come with joy and teach them all to participate in a dance which will express all the highest visions of America as seen by the heroes of the Revolution and the great pioneers; a dance which will be worthy of Abraham Lincoln.  Speak the word and I will come ...."

with: a copy of Ford's "Good Morning": After a Sleep of Twenty-five Years, Old-fashioned Dancing is Being Revived.  Dearborn, 1926

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

|
New York