Russian émigré Alexey Brodovitch, best known for leading a radical shift in magazine design in the United States during his twenty-four-year tenure (1934–58) as art director of Harper’s Bazaar, also pursued innovative practices in other fields of art, design, and education. His ballet photography, made during rehearsals and performances of touring dance companies in New York City from 1935 to 1938, explored unusual methods of capturing dancers in motion. Brodovitch’s images would eventually come to be celebrated for their unconventional approach, but at the time, Brodovitch was not sure of his direction. Recent archival discoveries suggest that Brodovitch reframed this graphic “problem” into curriculum for his classes at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art, inspiring students to delve into a number of experimental photographic techniques and pioneering the teaching of such practices in American classrooms.

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