The Hen ry P. Mcil henny Collection i n memory of Frances P Mcilhenn y
Edgar Degas: "Little Dancer,
Aged Fourteen," 1878-81.
Bronze and fabric.
Philadelphia Museum ofArt.
"Orchestra Must* cians,"
ca.. 1870 71.
Oil on canvas.
im Stiidelschen .
Frankfurt am Main
ner in the Great Hall and
Rivera Court, and dancing at
the afterglow. Ticket informa-
tion: Call (313) 833-1049.
• Nov. 10, 2 p.m.:
Curator Lecture. Joseph J.
Rishel, Gisela and Dennis Alter
Curator of European Painting
and Sculpture Before 1900,
speaks about the exhibition.
• Nov. 16, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.:
Spirit of Degas Day.
"Brunch: A Taste of France"
will be served 11:30 a.m.-3:30
p.m. in the Kresge Court Cafe
(charge; no reservations
required). At 2 p.m., a "Dance
Performance for the Whole
Family" takes place in the DIA
Auditorium. Five dance
troupes from across Michigan
will perform a short piece that
reflects Degas' era. One of
them will be awarded with the
"Spirit of Degas" Award for
Excellence. Doors at 1 p.m.
• Nov. 20-24:
Bolshoi Ballet. All 130
members of the Russian
troupe will present six per- •
formances of Swan Lake,
which had its premiere in
1895, at the Detroit Opera
House, presented jointly by
Michigan Opera Theatre and
University Musical Society.
Show times and ticket prices:
Call (313) 237-SING.
— Gail Zimmerman
Degas, who sometimes attended the same opera or ballet
30 times to capture his subjects, began his ballet paintings at
The four ballerinas in the Taubmans' drawing Dancers —
variously shown stretching, holding a fan, resting with head the end of the late 18 60s and continued through the 1910s.
in hand and adjusting a shoe — are captured as they wait
to go on stage and represent recurring themes in the artist's
interests and work.
Works similar to Dancers as well as some 50 other images
The drawing, dominated by shades of purple and blue, is
are captured in the book Degas and the
displayed toward the end of the show in a
Dance by Susan Goldman Rubin (Harry
segment called "Orgies of Color," a phrase
N. Abrams; $17.95).
once used by the artist.
The author, commissioned to develop a
"The Taubman work is very well known
text to go along with the exhib-
and important because it is at the nerve cen-
it, selected the pieces to discuss as she
ter of a cluster of works," says George
▪ explored the life of the artist and the sub-
Shepard Keyes, curator of European paint-
ject that represents half of his life's work.
ings and chief curator at the DIA.
'Although this book was planned for
"It has traveled around the country as part
readers, the art makes it appropri-
of the Reader's Digest corporate collection, and
all ages," says Rubin, who also has
I've seen it in a study at the Taubman.home."
about Frank Lloyd Wright,
Keyes points out that Dancers,
Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.
between 1897 and 1901 on tracing paper
"I wanted to show as many drawings as
and shown with similar pieces, brings atten-
possible because that's how he worked. I
tion to how Degas got involved with a sub--
also explain how he was never satisfied
ject or compositional type and returned to
what he had done."
it. Because the drawing has an added strip of
a Californian whose mother,
paper along the right side, it also gives
Julia Berlin, came from Detroit, planned
insight into the artist's creative process with
her book to tell engaging stories behind
Degas deciding to add to the scene.
Edgar Degas: The artist's
the artistry and researched nearly 30 texts
"The artist has drawn Dancers in a broader anti-Semitic attitude was not
to find appropriate anecdotes. She also
manner," Keyes says. "Degas had serious
uncommon during the time
classes at the School of American
problems with his eyesight at the time and
and was strengthened with
York so that she could have
used rather intense color that made it easier
the notoriety surrounding the
for him to see what he was doing."
DEGAS on page 88