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Image of Martha Graham

Yousuf Karsh
Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002

Martha Graham


Object Type: Photograph
20 in. x 16 in. (50.8 cm x 40.64 cm)
Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print on paper
Accession Number: 2009.0009.0003

Credit Line: Gifted to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts by Mrs. Yousuf Karsh in honor of Museum Director, Mark M. Johnson
Copyright: © Estate of Yousuf Karsh

Martha Graham (1895–1991) Graham’s impact on dance is comparable to Pablo Picasso’s on art, Frank Lloyd Wright’s on architecture, and Igor Stravinsky’s on music. She invented a new language of movement uninhibited by the constraints of classical ballet. Karsh initially felt constrained by Graham’s stark studio with its low ceiling, but he sat her on a stool and “asked her to assume various attitudes as if she had the space of a great stage around her…. This restricted posture presented no problem, such perfect control had she over her body…. She seemed to be dancing. In fact, she was dancing.”

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