The Kattenberg Collection at Harvard Library

Burns Kattenberg was probably the most famous collector of contortion. He was featured in major publications for the vast amount of photos, letters, and even costumes that he had collected over the years. He was also a very good writer, and you can read one of his articles on the Contortion Literature and Training Info Page.

Burns was born shortly after the turn of the century, and willed his well organized collection to the Harvard Library Theatre Collection upon his death. It remains available there today for anybody to go and enjoy. The collection is located in the Pusey Library, which is adjacent to the Main Library building.

The collection is impressive. If you ever get a chance to see it, don't miss the opportunity.

"Contortion may seem to be a limited field, but it has appeared in song, sculpture, poetry, fiction, and religion. It has been featured in the circus, vaudeville-minstrels, in museums, the dance, motion pictures, musical comedies, and carnivals."
- Burns Kattenberg

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