Collection of material relating to Anna Pavlova

Scope and Content

This collection contains assorted materials associated with Anna Pavlova’s life and career including several items of different provenance:

  • Two scrapbooks created by Mary B. Turner containing many assorted press and illustrated magazine cuttings featuring Pavlova (1910-13), including a few pressed flowers.
  • Anna Northcote bequest: A large bound volume of piano music used at rehearsals by the Anna Pavlova Company (c1910-29), with some annotations, probably made by the rehearsal pianist/s (unidentified hand/s, undated).
  • Cyril Beaumont gift: Accessories originally worn by Pavlova in performance, including a wig for The Fairy Doll (c. 1914, presented with a wooden stand) and a pair of wired and painted wings, recorded as being for The Dragon Fly, although they are smaller than those seen in photographs of that role, and more likely to have been worn in another ballet, as yet unidentified (undated).
  • A.B. Stanhouse gift: A circular wicker-work sewing basket with lid, originally belonging to Pavlova (undated)
  • Ernest Gambs gift: four sepia prints of Pavlova at a young age: one at age 16, another at 18, one aged 10 with her mother, and one depicting the house in which she was born, at Ligova, in St. Petersburg.
  • Raisa Siajafords and Zurab Kikelechvili gift: three black and white photographic prints depicting Pavlova with friends in a garden, and two shots of her in long skirt ballet costume (possibly ‘Giselle’) posing for a painter, possibly Savely Sorin.
  • Acquired from Kathleen Holmes: watercolour design for Die Puppenfee (also known as The Fairy Doll) featuring Anna Pavlova, painted by Joseph Rous Paget-Fredericks (1903 – 1963). This one-act ballet was choreographed by Joseph Hassreiter in 1888, for the Vienna Court Opera. It was revived by the Anna Pavlova Ballet Company in 1914. Fredericks was the Art Director for the Pavlova Company’s world tours of the early 1930s (these continued after her death in 1931). Fredericks was a student of Leon Bakst and John Singer Sargent.
  • Unknown provenance: catalogue of the exhibition Pavlova: an Exhibition of her Life and Work at the Globe Playhouse (1965), and the Anna Pavlova Exhibition at the London Museum (1956).
  • Unknown provenance: souvenir programmes for a number of Pavlova seasons including those at the Palais du Trocadéro (1921); and at Covent Garden Theatre [later the Royal Opera House] (1924-25); five programmes for a provincial tour of 1930, including performances at the Palace Theatre Manchester, the Golders Green Hippodrome, the Alhambra Bedford, the Theatre Royal Leeds and the Royal Albert Hall; also a programme of commemorative performances in tribute to Pavlova (23 January 1956).
  • Unknown provenance: a number of photographic prints, illustrations and original postcards portraying Pavlova in various roles including Raymonda, Giselle,The Swan, portraits of her at Ivy House, London (1912-30), and a postcard (issued by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston) of a costume design by Leon Bakst for Pavlova's Ballet Hindu (1913).
  • Unknown provenance: an original poster announcing a performance by Pavlova at the Magyar Kir. Operaház, Budapest (21-22 March 1927)

Administrative / Biographical History

Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) was the most celebrated ballerina of her generation. She studied at the Imperial Theatre School, St Petersburg, and graduated into the Mariinsky Ballet, where she made her official debut in 1899. She was championed by Marius Petipa during her early career, and rose through the ranks to become a Ballerina in 1905, and Prima Ballerina in 1906. She was a contemporary of Mikhail Fokine, who in 1907 choreographed for her an iconic solo dance, The Dying Swan, which she made famous throughout the world. She remained a leading dancer at the Mariinsky Theatre until 1913, although from 1908 she also began to forge a career abroad. In 1909 she made her début in Paris with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes; by 1911 she had formed own Company, which she lead on countless tours all over the globe for two decades. She died suddenly from pneumonia during a tour to Holland, in January 1931, less than a month before her fiftieth birthday.

Access Information

This collection is open for consultation and can be viewed by appointment only. Please contact White Lodge Museum via our website at The Royal Ballet School, White Lodge Museum

Acquisition Information

Multiple provenance: items in this collection were variously donated by Anna Northcote (given in 1989), Cyril Beaumont, Zena Clarke (née Baldwin), Mary B. Turner, A.B. Stanhouse, Ernest Gambs, Raisa Siajafords and Zurab Kikelechvili, dates not recorded. A watercolour painting of Pavlova was acquired by The Royal Ballet School on 29/09/2011 from Kathleen Holmes, who originally bought it at auction in Paisley, Scotland.


Corporate Names