- 1929-1962, and undated
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
4.32 linear feet (5 boxes and 128 over-size folders)
Series I includes designs, mostly watercolor and a few ink on paper and cardboard, for her costumes for performances of “The Theatre of Angna Enters,” “Pagan Greece,” and “Episodes,” among others, dating from 1932 to 1948.
Series II includes drawings and sketches made by Enters during her time as a Guggenheim Foundation fellow in 1934-1935, traveling to Greece and Egypt to study the arts of ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Byzantine societies, likely carried out as research for her solo dance production “Pagan Greece,” performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York, in 1943.
Series III includes, drawings, painting, and prints from Enters’ career as a visual artist, working across media and subject matter. Some of these materials are grouped together as studies of similar subject matter, such as a group of sketches of boat in the style of Enters’ friend John Marin, or the groups of “bullfight drawings,” “Persian drawings,” and “Oriental sketches.” It is possible that these latter two groups were created as part of the artistic process behind the design of dance and mime performances. Further works include self-portraits; a portrait of her husband, Louis Kalonyme; as well as depictions of dance positions, cityscapes, and theatrical and film performers; as well as a few lithographs and woodblock and dry prints from earlier drawings and designs, reduced to smaller sizes in print format. A single letter from Dorothy Newman appears on the back of a print by Francisco Goya, and an Indonesian choreographer doll, painted on buffalo hide, which might have been used in Enters’ studies, is included.
Biographical / Historical
In 1921, Enters met Louis Kantor, and they began a secret relationship in 1924. Also in 1924, she altered her name to Angna and began using 1907 as her birth year. Kantor similarly changed his name to Louis Kalonyme in the same year. Enters and Kalonyme were secretly married in Spain in 1936, and they maintained separate living spaces throughout their relationship. Kalonyme did not publically acknowledge Enters as his spouse until close to his death in 1961.
Enters produced her first solo dance and mime performance in 1924, appearing as many characters and performing dance and silent expressions in her self-designed productions. She toured the United States and London with her program, The Theater of Angna Enters, from that time until 1939. She performed Pagan Greece at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York in 1943, with positions and expressions based on her studies as a Guggenheim Foundation fellow traveling in Greece and Egypt in 1934-1935. Though less active in her touring schedules, Enters continued to perform through the 1960s.
Enters was a visual artist with a prolific body of work, as well, from sketches and paintings to woodblock prints and lithographs. Her visual works were exhibited in the United States and Europe, sometimes coordinated to appear simultaneous to her performances. The sketches were often costume designs for her performance characters.
Enters was an author of multiple autobiographies and books based on her career as a dancer and artist. She had an active academic career as well, first as an instructor at the Stella Adler School from 1957-1960. She was an artist-in-residence at the Dallas Theatre Center after Kalomyne’s death in 1961, teaching courses on mime at Bailor University during her time in Texas, and from 1962-1963, taught at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. From 1970-1971, Enters was an artist-in-residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and and gave her last known public performance during that academic year.
Enters lived in several nursing homes in the New York, New York area from 1976 until her death in 1989 February.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Enters, Angna, 1897-1989. Angna Enters collection, 1929-1962, and undated (MS Thr 1784): Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- 2018 April 16
- Description rules
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.
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