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James and Evelyn Kenny collection


Held at: Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center [Contact Us]1210 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA, 19122

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Evelyn Smith Kenny (d. 1971) was born in Schenectady, New York, moved to New York City and studied with the Ballet Rousse. She was a student of Catherine Littlefield and a member of the corps de ballet of Radio City Music Hall. In 1945 she married James Kenny (d. 1982). They became famous as an ice skating ballet team and toured the US with Sonja Henie's Ice Revue. James and Evelyn later opened the Little Dance Shop in Wayne, Pennsylvania, a dance school which later became known as the Devon Festival Ballet. They had a daughter, Susan.

The collection consists of a scrapbook and personal effects of James and Evelyn Kenny. The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings about Evelyn and James Kenny, the Little Dance Shop, and obituaries of both of them; it also includes photographs, programs, and a small number of letters. The collection also includes two pairs of toe shoes: one pair was worn by Evelyn at age 3-4 and later by her daughter, Susan, while the other pair is modified with metal spikes for use in ice ballet (a feature patented by Kenny). There is also a letter from a lawyer about the patent for the shoes.

Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center
Finding Aid Date
This collection-level EAD record is a product of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative, which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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