Muses

Martha Graham (1894 - 1991)

Born in America, Martha Graham studied from the mid-1910s to 1923 at the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts before establishing the Martha Graham Centre of Contemporary Dance in 1926. Rejecting classical European ballet, the dancer searched in primitive societies the inspiration for her spiritual-like naturalistic moves she interpreted bare feet. With her shows, she illustrates strong emotions and her social battles, such as Chronicle, in 1936 that depicted depression and isolation or Deep Song that decried the Spanish war. Martha Graham's innovative dance had, and still has, the most long-lasting influence on contemporary performance. Deeply influenced by the political climate of her environment, the 'Picasso of dance' made her modern dance popular in a country she so strongly analysed and represented, creating a unique 'American experience'. At the end of her career, many celebrities such as Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman and a bouncing Woody Allen, studied in her studio in order to better discover their body and move in front of the camera – eager to prove what Martha Graham claimed: 'nothing is more revealing than a movement.'

Tags / Martha Graham - 1930s - It Women - Muses - American Dancer - Avant-Garde - Movement
Martha Graham, photo by  Barbara Morgan, 1940
Martha Graham, photo by Barbara Morgan, 1940
Gjon Mili, Multiple image of choreographer Martha Graham performing her own work,Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Multiple image of choreographer Martha Graham performing her own work,Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Stroboscopic image of choreographer Martha Graham performing in Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Stroboscopic image of choreographer Martha Graham performing in Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Choreographer Martha Graham performing some of her own work at Mili Studio, 1941
Gjon Mili, Choreographer Martha Graham performing some of her own work at Mili Studio, 1941
Gjon Mili, Choreographer Martha Graham performing some of her own work at Mili Studio, 1941
Gjon Mili, Choreographer Martha Graham performing some of her own work at Mili Studio, 1941
Martha Graham, 1931 by Imogen Cunningham
Martha Graham, 1931 by Imogen Cunningham
Gjon Mili, Stroboscopic image of choreographer Martha Graham performing in Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Stroboscopic image of choreographer Martha Graham performing in Punch and Judy, 1941
William Eugene Smith, Portrait of Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins, 1945
William Eugene Smith, Portrait of Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins, 1945
Martha Graham in Appalachian Spring
Martha Graham in Appalachian Spring
Irving Penn, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1948
Irving Penn, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1948
Gjon Mili, Stroboscopic image of choreographer Martha Graham performing in Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Stroboscopic image of choreographer Martha Graham performing in Punch and Judy, 1941
Martha Graham, 1931 by Imogen Cunningham
Martha Graham, 1931 by Imogen Cunningham
Martha Graham, 1931 by Imogen Cunningham
Martha Graham, 1931 by Imogen Cunningham
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins at Bennington College, 1938
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins at Bennington College, 1938
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins at Bennington College, 1938
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins at Bennington College, 1938
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins at Bennington College, 1938
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins at Bennington College, 1938
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham , Letter to the World, 1940
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham , Letter to the World, 1940
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham in
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham in "Lamentation", 1935
Martha Graham, 1930's
Martha Graham, 1930's
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham , Letter to the World, 1940
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham , Letter to the World, 1940
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham - Lamentation, 1935
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham - Lamentation, 1935
The Martha Graham Dance Company in Graham's Appalachian Spring, with sets by Isamu Noguchi, 1944
The Martha Graham Dance Company in Graham's Appalachian Spring, with sets by Isamu Noguchi, 1944
Nickolas Muray, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1924
Nickolas Muray, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1924
Nickolas Muray, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1924
Nickolas Muray, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1924
Andy Warhol, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1980's
Andy Warhol, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1980's
Philippe Halsman, Portrait of Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham, 1947
Philippe Halsman, Portrait of Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham, 1947
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham - Extasis, 1935
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham - Extasis, 1935
Gjon Mili, Multiple image of choreographer Martha Graham performing her own work,Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Multiple image of choreographer Martha Graham performing her own work,Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Multiple image of choreographer Martha Graham performing her own work,Punch and Judy, 1941
Gjon Mili, Multiple image of choreographer Martha Graham performing her own work,Punch and Judy, 1941
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1930's
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1930's
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1930's
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1930's
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham in
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham in "Lamentation", 1935
Edward Steichen, Portrait of Martha Graham, New York, 1931
Edward Steichen, Portrait of Martha Graham, New York, 1931
Yousuf Karsh, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1948
Yousuf Karsh, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1948
Phaedra Choreography by Marta Graham 1961. Helen McGehee with Bertram Ross
Phaedra Choreography by Marta Graham 1961. Helen McGehee with Bertram Ross
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Philippe Halsman, Portrait of  Martha Graham, 1940's
Philippe Halsman, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham in
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham in "Lamentation", 1935
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham in
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham in "Lamentation", 1935
Martha Graham and Robert Gorham in Xochitl, 1920
Martha Graham and Robert Gorham in Xochitl, 1920
Martha Graham and Robert Gorham in Xochitl, 1920
Martha Graham and Robert Gorham in Xochitl, 1920
Arthur Kales, Portrait of Ted Shawn and Martha Graham in Malaguena,  1921
Arthur Kales, Portrait of Ted Shawn and Martha Graham in Malaguena, 1921
Martha Graham in Soaring at Mariarden, 1922
Martha Graham in Soaring at Mariarden, 1922
Martha Graham, 1931 by Imogen Cunningham
Martha Graham, 1931 by Imogen Cunningham
Portrait of Martha Graham in Judith, 1950
Portrait of Martha Graham in Judith, 1950
Carl Von Vechten, Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross, 1961
Carl Von Vechten, Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross, 1961
Carl Von Vechten, Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross, 1961
Carl Von Vechten, Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross, 1961
Carl Von Vechten, Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross, 1961
Carl Von Vechten, Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross, 1961
Soichi Sunami, Martha Graham and her dance troupe performing Heretic, 1928
Soichi Sunami, Martha Graham and her dance troupe performing Heretic, 1928
Portrait of Martha Graham in Appalachian Spring, 1940's
Portrait of Martha Graham in Appalachian Spring, 1940's
The Martha Graham Dance Company in Graham's Appalachian Spring, with sets by Isamu Noguchi, 1944
The Martha Graham Dance Company in Graham's Appalachian Spring, with sets by Isamu Noguchi, 1944
Arnold Eagle, The Martha Graham Dance Company in Graham's Appalachian Spring, with sets by Isamu Noguchi, 1944
Arnold Eagle, The Martha Graham Dance Company in Graham's Appalachian Spring, with sets by Isamu Noguchi, 1944
Arnold Eagle, Martha Graham and May O'Donnell with Noguchi set for
Arnold Eagle, Martha Graham and May O'Donnell with Noguchi set for "Hériodiade", 1944/ 1945
Edward Steichen, Portrait of Marthe Graham, 1931
Edward Steichen, Portrait of Marthe Graham, 1931
Cris Alexander, Martha Graham and Mirror (Torso)  by Noguchi, from
Cris Alexander, Martha Graham and Mirror (Torso) by Noguchi, from "Hériodiade", 1944/ 1945
Arnold Newman, Portrait of Martha Graham, NYC, 1961
Arnold Newman, Portrait of Martha Graham, NYC, 1961
Andy Warhol, Martha Graham - Satyric Festival Song [II.387], 1986
Andy Warhol, Martha Graham - Satyric Festival Song [II.387], 1986
Andy Warhol, Letter to the World (The Kick) [II.389], 1986
Andy Warhol, Letter to the World (The Kick) [II.389], 1986
Andy Warhol, Lamentation, 1986
Andy Warhol, Lamentation, 1986
Andy Warhol, Lamentation, 1986
Andy Warhol, Lamentation, 1986
Cris Alexandre, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Cris Alexandre, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1940's
Imogen Cunningham, Portrait of Martha Graham, Vanity Fair, December 1931
Imogen Cunningham, Portrait of Martha Graham, Vanity Fair, December 1931
Cris Alexander, Martha Graham and Mirror (Torso)  by Noguchi, from
Cris Alexander, Martha Graham and Mirror (Torso) by Noguchi, from "Hériodiade", 1944/ 1945
Martha Graham in Cave of the Heart, set design by Noguchi, 1946
Martha Graham in Cave of the Heart, set design by Noguchi, 1946
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham
Barbara Morgan, Portrait of Martha Graham "Frontier", 1935
Martha Graham, 1943
Martha Graham, 1943
Martha Graham, Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn for Blackglama campaign, 1970's
Martha Graham, Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn for Blackglama campaign, 1970's
Edward Steinchen, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1920's
Edward Steinchen, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1920's
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1930's
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1930's
Edward Steichen, Portrait of Martha Graham in “Primitive Mysteries”, 1931
Edward Steichen, Portrait of Martha Graham in “Primitive Mysteries”, 1931
Edward Steichen, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1931
Edward Steichen, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1931
Noguchi designed the semi-abstract props and set pieces for several Martha Graham dances, including Phaedra, 1962
Noguchi designed the semi-abstract props and set pieces for several Martha Graham dances, including Phaedra, 1962
Clytemnestra Choreography by Martha Graham 1958. Gene McDonald, Helen McGehee, Bertram Ross & Martha Graham
Clytemnestra Choreography by Martha Graham 1958. Gene McDonald, Helen McGehee, Bertram Ross & Martha Graham
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1930's
Portrait of Martha Graham, 1930's
Andy Warhol,  Portrait of Martha Graham, 1979
Andy Warhol, Portrait of Martha Graham, 1979
Isamu Noguchi, stage set for Martha Graham's Frontier,1935. Photo by Barbara Morgan
Isamu Noguchi, stage set for Martha Graham's Frontier,1935. Photo by Barbara Morgan
Isamu Noguchi, stage set for Martha Graham's Seraphic Dialogue, 1955. Photo by Bill Lewis
Isamu Noguchi, stage set for Martha Graham's Seraphic Dialogue, 1955. Photo by Bill Lewis
Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins and the Martha Graham Dance Company in Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring, 1944
Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins and the Martha Graham Dance Company in Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring, 1944
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