Albertine Society collection, 1934-ca. 1990 (bulk 1940-1980)
(Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material)

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LocationCall NumberStatus
Special Collections - Upon RequestMap room drawer K-4 folder 10Library Use Only
Special Collections - Upon RequestWorkroom range 5 section 8Library Use Only

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Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material
Physical Desc
1.15 cu. ft.
1 oversize folder


Organization & arrangement of materials
Organized into four series: I. Clippings; II. Photographs; III. Programs; IV. Miscellaneous subjects.
General Note
Materials housed in Special Collections Division of the Main Library, Nashville Public Library.
Restrictions on Access
In library use only. Available by appointment.
Scope and content: Newspaper clippings, photographs and programs spanning the years from 1934 to circa 1990 (bulk 1940-1980)documenting the career of Nashville, Tenn. ballet instructor and dancer Albertine Maxwell and her students. The collection also documents the growth and increasing support and respect accorded ballet in Nashville throughout a large part of the twentieth century, evident through Albertine's founding of Les Ballets Intimes with the Nashville Ballet Society and her role as a founding member of the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association. The collection also documents numerous noteworthy performers connected to Albertine as her instructors, students, or colleagues, such as: Hilda Butsova; Ted Shawn; George Balanchine; Jim Piersall; Douglas Garrett; Nola Najan; Adolph Bolm; Edna McRae; Ruth Page; Selma Jeanne Cohen; Ann Barzell; Felia Doubrovska; Jane Fabian; and many others.
Series I. Clippings: Arranged chronologically by decade, from 1940 to 1980, photocopies of clippings provide the most detail about Albertine, her dance instruction and teaching methods, students and their performances, and activities and performances of Les Ballets Intimes with the Nashville Ballet Society.
Series II. Photographs: Photographs include both formal portraits as well as performance images. Many images are undated, but the bulk of the dated photographs cover the time span from 1950 to 1967. Images featuring Albertine are arranged first in this series, and document her in her role as a teacher as well as a performer. Some images are of Albertine's Summer Dance Workshop in Bar Harbor, Maine. Other photographs include Albertine with Ted Shawn, George Balanchine, and other well-known ballet artists. Some images are from the annual festivals of the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association. After photographs featuring Albertine, images of her students follow, succeeded by numerous unidentified images.
Series III. Programs: Most programs are from performances by Albertine's students as Les Ballets Intimes with the Nashville Ballet Society, spanning the years 1940 to 1980. Numerous programs from the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association festivals, 1962 to 1980 - including the festival hosted in Nashville, Tenn. in 1964 - are also part of this series. A few miscellaneous programs (1934-1966) are also part of this series.
Series IV. Miscellaneous: Materials include biographical information (some printed from the Internet) on Adolph (Adolf) Bolm, one of Albertine's instructors, and some of her colleagues. A few items such as brochures, a history, and a few other materials relating to Albertine's Summer Dance Workshop in Bar Harbor, Maine are also included in this series. One folder includes bylaws for the Nashville Ballet Society and formal recognition from Nashville Mayor Richard Fulton and Governor Ray Blanton.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials
Cite as: Albertine Society Collection, Special Collections Division, Nashville Public Library
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code). Nashville Public Library does not have intellectual property rights to these materials.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Albertine Society;,Gift;,2006,Acc. 2007.002.
Biographical or Historical Data
Ellen Albertine Chaiser was born in Chicago, Ill. on September 18, 1903 and began studying dance at age 12. As she matured, she studied with Edna McRae and Adolf Bolm, eventually moving to California and New York City to continue her studies. She performed with the Chicago Opera, Adolf Bolm Dance Company, and Ruth St. Denis Dance Company. In addition to classical ballet, she also trained as a professional in Spanish dance with Jose Alvarez and mastered East Indian Hindu dance. She married Boyd Maxwell and in the 1930s they came to Nashville, Tenn. where Albertine opened the Albertine School of Dance in her home, located at 3325 West End Avenue, where she taught ballet, Spanish dance, and Hindu dance. Albertine quickly became one of the foremost dance teachers in the city, and she and her students gained national prominence. She was founder and director of Les Ballets Intimes with the Nashville Ballet Society from 1945 to 1980, and she was a founding member of the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association in 1955. In addition to teaching dance in Nashville, Albertine taught a summer dance workshop in Bar Harbor, Maine. First teaching at Angeola Sartorio's dance school at Hull's Cove in 1951, she began Albertine Summer Dance Workshop the following year. In 1968, the Maxwell's bought the large Livingstone home in Maine and renamed it Callander House, using it as part of the summer program. Faculty at the summer school included Madame Felia Doubrovska, Douglas Garrett and others. Albertine continued operating the summer dance school until 1989. She died on Nov. 19, 1996 in Louisville, Ky. and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago.
Biographical or Historical Data
The Albertine Society was formed in 2002 to honor the memory and legacy of Nashville, Tenn. dance instructor and performer, Albertine Maxwell. The Society is primarily composed of Albertine's former students - many of whom went on to national prominence as performers, choreographers, directors of dance companies, or other positions. In 2005 the Society embarked on an effort to gather materials that various individuals within its membership had saved which would document Albertine's career and legacy, and that of her students. As they collected these materials, the Society organized them and identified photographs and other items, and prepared them for donation to the Special Collections Division of the Nashville Public Library so that the story of Albertine and her work would be preserved for future generations. In addition, in 2005 the Society raised funds and led the effort to have a historical marker erected to Albertine at the former site of her home dance studio on West End Ave.
In English
Ownership and Custodial History
Materials donated by individuals to the Albertine Society to form the collection. Members from the Society performed preliminary processing of the collection prior to its donation to the Nashville Public Library in December 2006.
Rehouse;,2010;,Rose Mary Reed, Nashville Public Library volunteer.
Accumulation and Frequency of Use
No further accruals are expected.


APA Citation, 7th Edition (style guide)

Albertine Society. Albertine Society collection .

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Albertine Society. Albertine Society Collection. .

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities (Notes and Bibliography) Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Albertine Society. Albertine Society Collection .

MLA Citation, 9th Edition (style guide)

Albertine Society. Albertine Society Collection

Note! Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy. Citation formats are based on standards as of August 2021.

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