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Special Collection

Merce Cunningham Dance Company Collection

Over the course of his nearly 70-year career, Merce Cunningham (1919–2009) redefined the visual and performing arts through pioneering collaborations with leading artists, designers, and musicians. In 2011, the Walker accepted an unprecedented opportunity from the Cunningham Dance Foundation to acquire and steward the objects derived from those collaborations. Comprising some 4,300 artifacts representing 150 dances, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Collection (MCDCC) include décor and costumes by Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Rei Kawakubo, Roy Lichtenstein, Ernesto Neto, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol, among many others, as well as post­ers, studies and models, photographs, costume drawings, correspondence, ephemera, fabric samples, color charts, and related admin­istrative files from 1960 to 2006. Together, these materials provide invaluable context for understanding the interde­pendence and integration of costuming and décor within Cunningham’s work.

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