Allison Delarue and the ballet

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Right: Fanny Cerrito (1821-1909) and Arthur Saint-Leon (1821-1870), mount for a clock. Porcelain figure; 25.5 x 17 x 9.5 cm. Graphic Arts TC 012

Left: Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950) as a harlequin in Carnaval. 1920. Porcelain figure; 26 x 11 x 10 cm. Graphic Arts TC 012

Allison Delarue, Class of 1928, wrote: “For myself, I believe that Beauty still dwells among the rocks - scarcely to be reached at all and never without labour undreamed of by the average unperverted lover. One makes Beauty rarely then; but the making, however slender and elusive and unsatisfactory for the lover, has the merit of being creative.”

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Mr. Delarue left a marvelous collection with Princeton University, including these porcelain figurines. For a complete inventory and finding aid prepared by John Delaney, see his website:

Delarue was a staff member of McCarter Theatre (1951-1972), as well as a dance historian and balletomane. He graduated from the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, and later received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Princeton. While pursuing graduate studies at Oxford University, Delarue become interested in the history of ballet in England and studied dance with the Hon. Martin-Haney. Upon his return to the United States, he continued his interest in ballet while serving on the staff of the Cooper Union Museum in New York City.

His collection includes approximately 170 objects relating to the ballet and its history, including porcelain figurines, paintings and portraits, drawings, engravings, costume designs, lithographs, prints, posters, musical scores, and printed books. There are representations, in various forms, of Fanny Elssler, Marie Taglioni, Fanny Cerito, Waslaw Nijinsky, and others by such artists as F. Kruger, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Joseph Eymer, Paul Cadmus, Faivre, Lerasseur, and others.