Martha Graham in Letter to the World (Kick)

Barbara Morgan (American, 1900–1992)
1940
MediumPhotograph
Dimensions14 5/8 × 19 5/8 inches (unframed) 22 × 28 inches (framed)
CreditGift of Douglas and Liliane Morgan, 1987
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