Living Dance: The Barbara Mettler Collection


“Living Dance: the Barbara Mettler Collection” is an exhibit that highlights select items from the hundreds of still images, 16mm films, brochures, scrapbooks, letters, architectural specifications, etc. that comprise the Barbara Mettler Papers, 1931-2002, at Hampshire College. Born in Chicago in 1907, Barbara Mettler studied at Smith College before enrolling in the Mary Wigman School where she studied in Weimar era Germany. She taught improvisational dance in New York City from 1934-1940, from her farm studio in New Hampshire from 1941-1953, and in Tucson, Arizona from 1961 until her death in 2002. The displayed items represent key moments in Mettler’s life as an educator and creative dance innovator, important themes in her work, and items that are unique to the style of political dance that she pioneered. For more information, please consult the resources listed below:


This exhibit was curated by Emily Drummer from materials from the Barbara Mettler Collection at the Hampshire College Archives. We would also like to extend a warm thank you to Mary Ann Brehm and Mettler Studios, whose feedback was invaluable to this project.