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Preservation Projects
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Morrison-Shearer Foundation film collection

CFA has begun stabilizing and preserving the Morrison-Shearer Foundation film collection. Residing in CFA’s vaults, these films by Helen Balfour Morrison include the studio work of modern dancer Sybil Shearer.

Sybil Shearer (1912-2005) was a leading pioneer of modern dance and arguably one of the finest dancers of the 20th century. She began her career at Bennington and in New York with the Humphrey-Weidman Company and Agnes de Mille. After a critically acclaimed solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 1941, Ms. Shearer moved to Chicago, where she worked independently, close to nature, and in her own unorthodox way. She met photographer, Helen Balfour Morrison, who became her lighting director, photographer, filmographer, and artistic collaborator for the next forty years.

Their studio is located in Northbrook, Illinois and is maintained by the Morrison Shearer Foundation in an effort to preserve the documentary materials associated with these two artists.

CFA produced this short video, which includes excerpts from “A Conversation Between Sybil Shearer and Walter Terry” (1980) and “Within This Thicket” (Circa 1959):