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Sly Boots: 1923

Sly Boots: 1923

April 9, 1923. Washington, D.C. "Paul Tchernikoff dancers, Russian Village Fair at Wardman Park Inn." National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.


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Paul Gardner "Tchernikoff"

The director of this amateur company seems to have been J. Paul Gardner, born in Somerville, Massachusetts, and a graduate in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Class of 1917. After serving in the Army, Gardner danced for nine years in Anna Pavlova's corps de ballet, apparently using the stage name of Paul Tchernikoff. In March 1923 he returned to MIT to perform Russian dances in the university's annual "Tech Show," which traveled also to Hartford and the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, and was listed in the campus newspaper reviews of the show as "Paul Gardner Tchernikoff '17," and described as a member of the Pavlova company. In 1927, as Paul Tchernikoff, he was directing a dance school in Washington, assisted by a "Miss Gardiner." By the end of the 1920s he obtained an MA in art history from George Washington University, and served as the first full-time director of the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City from 1933 to 1953. The most detailed bio I could find is on the museum's Web site.

[Lisa Gardiner was his partner in the Tchernikoff-Gardiner School of the Dance. - Dave]

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