Martha Graham in Letter to the World (Kick)

Barbara Morgan (American, 1900–1992)
Dimensions14 5/8 × 19 5/8 inches (unframed) 22 × 28 inches (framed)
CreditGift of Douglas and Liliane Morgan, 1987. Barbara and Willard Morgan photographs and papers, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.
Accession Number87.13.10

The poetry of Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was Graham’s inspiration for Letter to the World. This episodic dance, performed to spoken passages from Dickinson’s poetry, explored the fertile imagination of the reclusive woman. Recurring themes of love, nature and death culminate in the “Dance of Sadness,” Dickinson’s resignation to a life without love beautifully portrayed in this famous photograph