Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Martha Graham

signature image

Unknown artist. Martha Graham, 1964. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Martha Graham
b. 1894, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; d. 1991, New York

Martha Graham was a leading figure in the American modern dance movement. She choreographed over 180 works in a career that spanned more than half a century, and performed in most of her productions. Graham used dance as an arena in which to explore and express human emotions, creating such works as Appalachian Spring (1944), Cave of the Heart (1946), Clytemnestra (1958), and The Witch of Endor (1965), which were inspired by her knowledge of Greek mythology, historical figures, and Native American folklore. In 1927, she founded the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, where she emphasized the significance of the breath, lower back, and pelvis in a style of dance that was entirely opposed to the classical tradition of ballet. In addition to her work as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher of many who would go on to significant careers of their own, she published The Notebooks of Martha Graham (1973) and her autobiography, Blood Memory (1991).

Related Place Setting

Georgia O'Keeffe

Related Heritage Floor Entries

Dorothy Arzner
Marie Bashkirtsev
Sarah Bernhardt
Rosa Bonheur
Julia Cameron
Emily Carr
Mary Cassatt
Imogen Cunningham
Sonia Delaunay
Maya Deren
Isadora Duncan
Eleanor Duse
Edith Evans
Natalia Goncharova
Eileen Gray
Sophia Haydn
Katharine Hepburn
Barbara Hepworth
Hannah Hoch

Harriet Hosmer
Frida Kahlo
Ida Kaminska
Gertrude Kasebier
Kathe Kollwitz
Dorothea Lange
Marie Laurencin
Mary Louise McLaughlin
Paula Modersohn-Becker
Julia Morgan
Berthe Morisot
Gabriele M√ľnter
Louise Nevelson
Elizabeth Ney
Anna Pavlova
Augusta Savage
Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Suzanne Valadon