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Margot Grimmer papers

Identifier: Dance-MS-Grimmer

Scope and Content of the Collection

Collection relating to dancer Margot Grimmer, consisting of advertising and publicity items, numerous newspaper clippings and programs. Also, cards designed by her mother, Ann Grimmer, copies of a few incoming letters and many professional photographs of Grimmer, her pupils and performances.

Also includes one film of the Phyllis Sabold Dance Company (featuring dancers Phyllis Sabold, Margo Grimmer, Charles Schick, and Joyce Taylor), appearing on television in the summer of 1964.

[archivist's note, 2023: Audiovisual recordings in this collection have been digitized and are available online. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.]


  • Creation: 1956-1984



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Margot Grimmer papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have been digitized and are available online. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Margot Grimmer papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Margot Grimmer

Chicago dancer and choreographer.

Margot Grimmer, daughter of artists and designers Ann and Vernon Grimmer, was born in Glencoe, Illinois, in 1944. An active child, she began studying ballet early, and at fifteen she was advanced enough to join a company at the Starlight Theater in Kansas City. While still in high school she performed with the Music Theater in Chicago’s Highland Park, and continued to dance locally while taking college courses in English literature. Her career advanced and during the next years she danced with the Lyric Opera Ballet, the Ruth Page International Ballet, the New York City Ballet and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, among others.

In 1972 Grimmer organized her own company, becoming the artistic director of the Margot Grimmer American Dance Company of Highland Park. In that year, after the sudden death of her friend, Eric Braun, she bought his school and as a tribute to him, named it the Eric Braun-Margot Grimmer American Dance School. The American Dance Company enjoyed great success with Chicago audiences and by 1980 Grimmer had choreographed sixteen original works and presented one hundred ballets. Known for her highly energetic, dynamic and original style, Grimmer leaned heavily toward multi-media presentations, with elements of ballet, modern, ethnic, jazz and even disco. She drew inspiration from many sources, incorporating current events and social influences for (in her words) “a total theater experience.”

Margot Grimmer has contributed much to the Chicago artistic scene, and many of her pupils have had successful dance careers. The Margot Grimmer American Dance Company received grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Grimmer was listed in Who’s Who of American Women in 1977, and in 1979 was recognized by the British publication, The International Who’s Who of Intellectuals.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box and 1 oversize folder)


Material relating to the career of Chicago dancer Margot Grimmer, including clippings, advertising items, programs, a few miscellaneous incoming letters, and numerous photographs.


Arranged alphabetically by type of material, with photographs at the end, in one box and one oversize folder.

Collection Stack Location

3a 48 7


Gift of Margot Grimmer, 1984.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith.

Inventory of the Margot Grimmer papers, 1956-1984
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States