This archive contains mostly papers collected or artwork created by Valentine Gross and notes created by Richard Buckle.
Valentine Gross, a.k.a. Valentine Hugo (1887 - 1968), was a French art ballet enthusiast, illustrator, researcher and painter and still a student at the time of 1909 Saison Russe in Paris. She witnessed annual seasons of Diaghilev Ballets Russes in Paris and made preliminary sketches during rehearsals and performances between 1909 and 1920. Allegedly she attended every ballet performance presented by Diaghilev in Paris in the years 1909 - 1914. She later worked them up into pencil or coloured drawings of various degrees of finish including illustrations, pastels and paintings. Her pastels were exhibited at the 1913 opening season of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. She was married to Jean Hugo between 1919 to 1929.
Richard Buckle (1916 - 2001) was a dance critic and one of the founders of the Friends of the Museum of Performing Arts. He was a key figure responsible for the acquisition of a vast number of costumes and memorabilia relating to Diaghilev Ballets Russes in the late 1960s and 1970s for the Friends of the Museum of Performing Arts. Collections held by the Friends of the Museum of Performing Arts were donated to the V&A in 1974 which today form the collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance.
Richard Buckle in his book Nijinsky on Stage, published a selection of the drawings giving detailed analysis of each one. For this he interviewed Lydia Sokolova, a performer of the Diaghilev Ballets Russes, whose notes on the drawings are also found in the archive.