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Research Guides

Visual Materials

This section describes collections containing primarily photographs or moving images created or collected by schools, companies, or individuals. These collections may include rehearsal or publicity photographs documenting productions, as well as formal and informal images of performers. In many instances, photograph collections may have been separated from a larger archival collection.

Cornish School photograph collection

The Cornish School of Allied Arts was founded by Nellie C. Cornish in 1914 as the Cornish School of Music. In 1977, Cornish School of Allied Arts became Cornish Institute of Allied Arts, a fully accredited college offering Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees. The collection is arranged to reflect the activities of the school in the areas of art, music, drama and dance from circa 1914 to circa 1960.

Mary Aid De Vries photograph collection

Mary Aid de Vries was an Associate Professor of Physical Education and Dance at the University of Washington from 1927 to 1963. The collection consists of black and white photographs of dance and physical education activities.

Maxine Cushing Gray photograph collection

Maxine Cushing Gray was the music critic for Seattle Post-Intelligencer between 1951 and 1953, and arts editor of Argus Seattle from 1954 to 1974. In 1975, she published and edited Northwest Arts, a bi-weekly Seattle publication. Images of theater, dance, opera, and symphony performances, many taken by professional photographers, are included in this collection. Also included are photos of local artists and their works on exhibition.

H. David Kaplan photograph collection

Kaplan has had a long-term interest in the arts; he has worked as the Associate Publisher for Houston's Performing Arts Magazine, has instructed opera courses in Federal Way, Washington, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Pacific Northwest Ballet. The collection is arranged in six series: Ballet, Opera, Music, Theater, Movies and Television, and Art and Artists.

Karen Irvin photograph collection

Karen Irvin headed the dance department at the Cornish School of Allied Arts (now known as Cornish College of the Arts) for 27 years and founded the Cornish Ballet. This collection includes ballet production photographs.

J. Willis Sayre photograph collection

The Sayre Collection consists of more than 24,000 photographs of theatrical and vaudeville performers, musicians, and entertainers who played in Seattle between about 1900 and 1955 (some of the materials date back to the 1870s). The collector was J. Willis Sayre: drama critic, journalist, promoter.


Costumed portrait of ballroom dancers Blaine and Elaine Bond