Morgan on Modernism

Tuesday, November 2 - Friday, December 10
Important to use alt

Celebrating Pearl Primus and Doris Humphrey Pearl Primus in Rock Daniel, 1944, Photo by Barbara Morgan

Herter Gallery   

The University Museum of Contemporary Art recently received a gift of Barbara Morgan photographs of dancers during the early years of the 20th Century. A selection of these photographs will be on exhibition to coincide with the University Dancers' fall concert. Selections will feature vintage photographs of Pearl Primus and Doris Humphrey, whose choreography will be performed by the University Dancers on December 3-5 at Bowker Auditorium.

Nils Morgan, Barbara Morgan's grandson, and his wife, Kara Rillings Morgan made the decision to give this collection to Umass based on the institution's broad opportunity to use the images in multidisciplinary education. "As part of the Five College Dance Department, Umass is a prominent center of dance in higher education. It also offers an outstanding fine arts program," said Nils Morgan. "We are confident the Barbara Morgan images will be put to thoughtful creative educational uses at Umass."

Historical images include Passacaglia (1938) choreographed by Doris Humphrey and photos of Dr. Pearl Primus performing her signature dances. Primus, a modern dance pioneer and black dance icon, was also a faculty member within the Five Colleges in the 1980s. Primus taught dance as well as African American Studies and Anthropology.

An exhibition of the complete Barbara Morgan Photographic collection will open at the University Museum of Contemporary Art in the fall of 2011. The Barbara Morgan Archive will become part of the University's permanent art collection, housed at the University Museum of Contemporary Art, the teaching museum at Umass Amherst. Appointments can be made fro viewing by contacting Justin Griswold, the Gallery's Registrar.



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Exhibition Events

Doris Humphrey's Passacaglia

restaged by Umass faculty member Paul Dennis with music by J. S. Bach, as well as three of Primus' seminal solos: Strange Fruit, Hard Time Blues, and Negro Speaks of Rivers will be performed at the University Dance concert in December.

For more information about the Barbara Morgan gift and the Dance Concert please contact Peggy Schwartz at or visit the Dance department's website.

4:00 pm to 7:00 pm