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Barbara Morgan photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0144

Scope and Contents

The Barbara Morgan photographs consist of black and white photographs and photomontages captured by Morgan. Many of the dance photographs feature famous dancers including Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. In addition, the collection contains photomontages created by Morgan. Many of these montages include pictures of New York City scenes and features. In total, the collection contains 51 16 x 20 gelatin silver prints.


  • Creation: 1935-1973

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Barbara Brooks (née Johnson) Morgan (1900-1992) was born on July 8, 1900 in Buffalo, Kansas. Shortly after graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1923 with a degree in art, she joined the faculty at UCLA where she taught design, landscape, and woodcut. She married Willard D. Morgan in 1925 and the couple moved to New York City in 1930. Morgan opened her own art studio in New York the following year. Best known for her black and white photographs of dancers, she first began photographing performances in 1935.

During her lifetime, Morgan was honored with several awards. Her work was exhibited by several prestigious venues and her first book, Martha Graham: Sixteen Dances in Photographs (1941), was given the American Institute of Graphic Arts Trade Book Clinic Award. She also received the National Honor from the Women's Caucus for Art, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society of Magazine Photographers, a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition with Appreciation for Services and Achievement, the Annual Capezio Dance Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Photographic Insight Foundation. In 1984, the Town Supervisor of Greenburgh, NY even declared a "Barbara Morgan Day."

Morgan's husband died in 1967. The couple had two sons. Barbara Morgan died on August 17, 1992.


8.83 Linear Feet (3 lid boxes, 1 portfolio case)




Photographs taken by acclaimed photographer Barbara Morgan. Morgan was best known for her black and white dance photographs. In addition to photographs of dancers, the collection includes several photomontages.


This collection is currently unprocessed.


Materials are contained in four boxes. All photographs are matted.

Physical Location

C.S. Mid-Range, Shelves 229-230

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Portions of the collection were donated by Richard D. Zakia, a former professor of photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in April 2011.

Barbara Morgan photographs
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
04 April 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA