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Happy Birthday Martha Graham

May 11, 2011

Google Doodles are a serendipitous treat, transforming the familiar primary colored serif letters into something whimsical. Today’s doodle, in honor of Martha Graham’s 117th birthday, appears to be an easy favorite, judging from the number of times it has already been captured and presented on YouTube.

Martha Graham visited the Phillips in May 1944 at the request of Duncan Phillips, who wrote to her of “our great wish that you can lecture on your art in our Gallery this Spring . . . Washington is eager in wartime for such occasions.” In that year, Aaron Copeland’s  Appalachian Spring would premiere, which Graham choreographed and danced the leading role. The powerful American spirit in the work was easily what Phillips was hoping Graham could bring to his audience through this conversation.

Phillips Memorial Gallery, Martha Graham will talk informally on her art, The Dance, 1944. The Phillips Collection Archives

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