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Subject: "Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library" Archived thread - Read only
 
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David Davies

02-01-02, 02:34 PM (GMT)
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"Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library"
 
   Has anyone come across the website for the Stowitts Museum and Library in Pacific Grove, California? Their site can be found at www.stowitts.org, and it is well worth a visit if you enjoy exploring the byways of dance.

The Museum celebrates the life and work of Jay Stowitts (1892-1953), an American dancer who was ‘discovered’ by Anna Pavlova whose company he joined in 1915. He went on to dance solo roles in London, Stockholm, Madrid and New York, ending his dancing career at the Folies Bergères in Paris.

While in Paris Stowitts studied painting, specialising in dancers and athletes. This work, including studies of Nijinsky in several of his great roles, can be seen on the website. Stowitts’ style is very much of its time, and seems now to have a certain period charm – perhaps it is best summed up as ‘West Coast Beefcake’.

In 1936 Jay Stowitts was commissioned to paint the American athletes taking part in the Berlin Olympics. He elected to include portraits of Ted Shawn and six of Shawn’s dancers, to honour their athleticism and their contribution to American physical culture. When these paintings were shown in Berlin during the Olmpics, the exhibition was closed down by the Nazis who objected to the nudity of the athletes and to the portrayal of black Americans.

So far, I have been unable to find any references to Jay Stowitts in the usual dance encyclopædias. Can anyone supply any more information about him please?



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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library David L 06-01-02 1
     RE: Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library Renee Renouf Hall 08-01-02 2
         RE: Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library baroquebaroque 12-04-02 3
             RE: Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library Renee Renouf Hall 16-04-02 4

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David L

06-01-02, 04:56 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON 06-01-02 AT 04:56 PM (GMT)

As a dancer, he was known as Hubert Stowitts.

There are plenty of entries for him in the New York Public Library Dance Collection catalogue - try:

http://catnyp.nypl.org/search~b1o1c1i1p1r1a1

I suspect that in terms of how we perceive male dancers today he was probably a fairly minor figure, but presumably a good and self-effacing partner!


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Renee Renouf Hall

08-01-02, 06:27 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library"
In response to message #1
 
   January 7, 2002
There is a lengthy biographical resume of Hubert Jay Stowitts in by Anne Holliday in the catalog producedby the Stowitts Museum in connection with Stowitts' last works, which were metaphysical.

Stowitts definitely belongs to the generation of St. Denis, Shawn and the like, where moxie and curiosity made up for lack of the formal training available in Europe. As to his capacity for self-effacement, I know he adored Anna Pavlova, but he also had a healthy self-respect and an avid intellectual capacity.

I encountered Stowitts' career in the late 50's, early 60's when I interviewed a Bay Area balletomane/artist by the name of J. Paget Fredericks, who at one time or another claimed direct relationship to the Pagets of England and Baron Fredericks of the Russian Imperial artistic staff. I met his sister who lived in Redondo Beach and in whose backyard cottage Stowitts lived as he got older and his star faded on the stage and Hollywood horizon.

His career was a substantial one and the popularity of his paintings from Java and India quite remarkable in the early 30's.

When he was stranded in Berlin after the Olympics, he helped Lei Reifenstahl with her documentary on the Olympics and brought back to the U.S. perhaps the only copy, which was discovered in the late 50's and shown in cinema art houses in California at least.
He also partnered Irene Harvey when she made a film in Germany on Fanny Elssler. There was a ballet in it, based on his exposure to the sultan's courts in Indonesia, I think the one at Jogjokarta. At that time, the royal children all learned to dance and perform the elaborate court ritual dances based on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Hindu epics whose tradition has lingered in Southeast Asia after its conversion to Islam.

Anne Holliday has spent nearly fifteen years researching his life
and collecting his paintings. Stowitts was a self-taught artist and as he got older what were reflections of Asian life seemed to get distorted by an effort to achieve a highly personal inner perception. This is particularly apparent in some of his depictions of Nijinsky, whom he saw in South America, I think at the very end of Nijinsky's performing career. Whatever my opinion, Stowitts gets full marks for a prolific and fascinating life.

And equally full marks go to Anne Holliday for her devotion and
promotion of Stowitts as artist and personality.


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baroquebaroque

12-04-02, 11:25 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library"
In response to message #2
 
   Dear Ms. Hall,

We very much would like to get in touch with you regarding your interview with Joseph Paget-Fredericks. We are doing research into his life and his collection, and would love to read your interview with him.

Please contact us ASAP at lesfousde1900@msn.com


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Renee Renouf Hall

16-04-02, 00:42 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Byways of Dance: The Stowitts Museum and Library"
In response to message #3
 
   An E-message was returned. You might trying contacting me through http://www.idanews.com.with something more than baroquebaroque.

Thanks.


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