Lippincott, Gertrude (Lawton) 1913-1996

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LIPPINCOTT, Gertrude (Lawton) 1913-1996

PERSONAL: Born June 29, 1913, in St. Paul, MN; died June 2, 1996; married Benjamin Evans Lippincott (died 1989), 1934. Education: Attended University of Chicago; studied dance with Marion Van Tuyl; University of Minnesota, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1935; attended Bennington School of Dance, summers 1937-38; attended Martha Graham studio, 1939; New York University, M.A., 1943.

CAREER: Modern Dance Center, Minneapolis, MN, founder, 1937, dancer, 1937-42; Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, assistant professor of dance, 1943-46; presented solo and group dance concerts, 1946-66; Minneapolis YWCA Studio Dance Group, Minneapolis, MN, founder and director, 1949-57; Mills College, assistant dance professor, 1953; University of Minnesota adjunct professor of theatre, 1965-72. Toured with dance partner Robert Moulton, 1949-64; Dance Repertory Group, Minneapolis, founder; Committee on Research in Dance (later Congress on Research in Dance), founder, 1965; dance lecturer.

AWARDS, HONORS: Ninety-second Street YMYWHA, audition award, 1944, and choreographic awards, 1948, 1949; Copper Foot Award, Wayne State University, 1964; Heritage Award, AAPHERD National Conference, 1973; Distinguished Teachers Award, American Dance Guild, 1974; Founding Fellow Award, National Council for the Arts in Education; National Retired Teachers Award, American Dance Guild; Distinguished Service to Dance in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis Jewish Community Center, 1979; Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Minnesota, 1982.


Aesthetics and the Dance: A Study of Some Problems in Dance Theory Presented for the Dancer, [New York, NY], 1943.

Dance Production: Music, Costumes, Staging, Decor, Lighting, Photography, Make-up, Planning, and Rehearsing, American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (Washington, DC), 1956.

Contributor to Dance Observer, Dance, Focus on Dance, Dance Scope, Journal of Art and Art Criticism, Creative Dance Journal, Impulse, and Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

SIDELIGHTS: Dancer, choreographer, and instructor Gertrude Lippincott was nationally known, but she was especially influential in the Midwest. A Minnesota native, Lippincott founded the Modern Dance Center in Minneapolis, the first modern dance group and school in the area, in 1937. It was also one of the first dance groups in the United States to include people of color. She also founded other Minnesota dance companies, including the Modern Dance Group, the Studio Dance Group, the Dance Trio, the Dance Repertory Group, and the Dance Duo. Over the period of her career she gave 107 concerts in twenty-one states plus Washington, D.C. Lippincott was also an instructor and lecturer in dance, and instructed seventy-two master classes in twenty-two states, in over 250 colleges and universities. Star Tribune contributor Amy Woods, quoted Judith Brin Ingber, who worked with Lippincott at Dance magazine, "She was really inspiring to performers and educators in the dance world. She was a remarkable dance doctor."



Star Tribune, June 7, 1996, Amy Woods, "Modern Dance Pioneer Gertrude Lippincott Dies at 82," p. 6B.


Minnesota Historical Society, (April 12, 2002), "Gertrude Lawton Lippincott: An Inventory of Her Papers at the Minnesota Historical Society."*