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January 5: Lincoln Kirstein

Lawrence Bush
January 5, 2010

Lincoln_KirsteinLincoln Kirstein, co-founder with George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet, and the School of American Ballet, died on this day in 1996. Kirstein also helped to found the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art, forerunner of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. He was general director of the New York City Ballet from 1948 until 1989. Through his writing, friendships, and arts advocacy, he exercised enormous influence upon dance, painting, theater, film, photography, architecture, and more. Kirstein received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984.
“The domain of the ballet dancer is not earth but air.” —Lincoln Kirstein

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.