The UCLA Library has acquired the largest private collection ever assembled of materials on the life and career of modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan. Compiled over more than 30 years by Southland lawyer Howard Holtzman, who died in 1990, the roughly 1,500 items include unpublished letters, manuscripts, photographs, sculptures, dance programs and contracts, and other materials.
UCLA paid "slightly less" than the $1.1 million sought by Gordon Hollis, owner of the Beverly Hills bookshop Golden Legend, to whom the collection was consigned, said Dawn Setzer, director of UCLA Library Communications. Funds to buy the collection were donated by Los Angeles philanthropist Joan Palevsky 18 days before her death last month, according to UCLA Librarian Gary E. Strong.
The materials about Duncan, who was born in 1877 or 1878 and died in 1927, will be housed in the Charles E. Young Research Collection and will be available to the public this summer. An exhibition in 2007 is under discussion, Setzer said.