Agnes de Mille

Agnes de Mille commemorative Postage Stamp 2004
 

In 1936, Ned created a photographic portfolio for choreographer Agnes de Mille. By this time Agnes was already an accomplished practicioner of this artform. Her stepmother, Clara B. de Mille, had visited Cornelia Runyon's house in Brentwood, California in 1935 at the same time Ned Scott appeared. Ned Scott had in tow several of his photographs for display and discussion amoung the group there (at Cornelia's suggeston), and Clara liked them so much that she asked for a print of Ned's pond lilly image. Ned complied, and presented her with a signed, and titled 8 x 10 platinum print of two water lillies. It was this exchange which ultimately lead to Ned's commercial involvement with step daughter Agnes in early 1936.

Invoice to Agnes de Mille

As the handwritten invoice shows, Ned made a number of fiber prints with a matt finish for presentation to Agnes. These were from 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 negs he created. He also made a series of glossies (cheaper resin coated paper) of the same images. All in all Ned made well over 130 prints for Agnes, most of them on high quality papers.

Agnes de Mille commemorative Postage Stamp 2004 Agnes de Mille commemorative Postage Stamp 2004

This fact was to prove very important later, much later. It was in 2003 that the Postal Selection Committee of the United States Postal Service began searching for suitable portraits of Agnes de Mille to represent her on a commemorative stamp due out in 2004 in the American Choreographer series. The Committee chose one of the prints Ned Scott had made of Agnes 68 years earlier, and they found this print among his many others which Agnes had carefully saved and later bequeathed with many of her personal papers to a small university on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Invoice to Agnes de Mille Invoice to Agnes de Mille Invoice to Agnes de Mille

The note Clara sent to Ned Scott, thanking him for the lilly print, is posted here. Surprises abound in Ned Scott's photographic history, both at the time he lived and worked, and now over 70 years later, these unexplained occurences are still taking place. Last year, in mid-2008, this platinum print surfaced at auction in Southern California. The archive had a chance to purchase back this valuable print which had such an interesting history. It is now home with the rest of the material Ned Scott saved during his career. This print is represented below.

 

There is one more interesting feature about this lilly image. This very image is featured at the close of Ned Scott's first Hollywood film titled "Spring Night". This film is a ten minute motion picture ballet featuring Nana Gollner and David Lichine, both of whom were familiar to Agnes.

Three Mexican Fishermen from "Redes/The Wave"

Also mentioned in the invoice is a platinum print titled "Three Mexican Fishermen". This image is one of many from Ned Scott's Redes/The Wave movie effort in Alvarado, Mexico in 1934. Agnes loved it. This print is also represented here.

 

Agnes de Mille Portraits

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