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Allen Tanner papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 368
Scope and Contents

The Allen Tanner Papers document the life of the pianist Allen Tanner, particularly his life in Paris in the 1920's with the artist Pavel Tchelitchew. The Papers have been arranged into four series; Correspondence, Writings, Photographs, and Additional Materials.

Series I, Correspondence , includes letters from René Crevel, Dame Myra Hess, and Virgil Thomson, and with several letters written by Tanner to John Torson. The majority of the correspondence consists of letters from Pavel Tchelitchew and from his sister, Alexandra Zaoussaïloff (nicknamed "Choura" throughout the collection), to Tanner (who is referred to as "Allousha" by both Tchelitchew and his sister). The letters from Tchelitchew date from 1928-1951, with the majority written after 1940, while Tchelitchew was living in New York. The letters discuss his life in New York, his work, the war in Europe, his travels to Arizona and Block Island, his sister Choura, and the lives of many of his friends, including Lincoln Kirstein, Edith Sitwell, Florine Stettheimer (in particular, her death), and Virgil Thomson. Included are several envelopes without corresponding letters, which have been placed with the letters according to the date of their postmark. The letters from Zaoussaïloff date from 1958-1972, after Tchelitchew's death in 1957. The letters concern her life in Paris, and her memories of Tchelitchew's life and his death. The letters also discuss the lives of many of her friends, including R. Kirk Askew, Jr. (Tchelitchew's dealer in New York), Lincoln Kirstein, Edith Sitwell, Gertrude Stein, Parker Tyler (particularly the writing of his biography of Tchelitchew, The Divine Comedy of Pavel Tchelitchew), and various Russian friends and relatives, in particular her (and Tchelitchew's) half-sisters Mania and Varia Tchelitchew.

Series II, Writings , consists primarily of memoirs and recollections by Tanner of Tchelitchew and of his life in New York and Paris in the 1920's.

Series III, Photographs , contains photographs of Tanner, Tchelitchew, and friends and relatives, taken primarily in the 1920's. Also included are several photographs of the Diaghilev Ballet production of "Ode," designed by Tchelitchew, as well as several later photographs of Margaret C. Anderson, and two most likely of Tanner taken in the 1960's.

Series IV, Additional Materials , consists of printed items and other materials chiefly relating to Tanner and Tchelitchew.

Language of Materials

Chiefly in English. Letters from Tchelitchew and Zaoussailoff are primarily in French, with some Russian.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Restricted Fragile materials in the portfolio and in cold storage may only be consulted with permission of the appropriate curator. Preservation photocopies and copy prints for reference use have been substituted in the main files.

Conditions Governing Use

The Allen Tanner Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John A. Torson, 1987-1988.

1.7 Linear Feet ((5 boxes) + 1 broadside folder, 1 portfolio)
Related Names
Tanner, Allen, 1898-1987
Language of Materials
Language of Materials
Language of Materials
Language of Materials