Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ruth St. Denis

Ruth St. Dennis by Cathy (Kate) Johnson
Ruth St. Dennis, a photo by Cathy (Kate) Johnson on Flickr.
There was a display of old photos by Orval Hixon from the Vaudeville era in the Paradise Playhouse Dinner Theatre on Artcrawl night.  The photos are in the Ray County Museum, normally, in Richmond, MO.  I was inspired by this lady, who was of course in black and white in the photo!  I added color later, at home...

And it looks like the photographer and I BOTH spelled her name's Ruth S. Denis, one N. Quite the famous lady in her day, it appears--she was inducted into the National Museum of Dance C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame in 1987.

Holy cats!  She taught Martha Graham!  Wonder what she was doing in the Kansas City area...

And here's more on Orval Hixon, who appears to have been pretty famous in his own right!

Does she fit here?  I don't know...I sketched her on the spot, in an urban setting, but she wasn't moving much!


  1. Great dancer sketch! That is an interesting find for the museum. I always liked the Graham dancers, they were so dramatic.

  2. They have quite a few of them, and unfortunately have no idea who donated them or where they came from. They're all Orval Hixon's photos, and he signed them as well as adding the subjects name, so it's a real treasure. Many famous performers of the era...

  3. Thank you! And look what else I found on line...Orval was no slouch, either...


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