MS 1091 - Margit Heskett Collection
|MS 1091 - Margit Heskett Collection
|Arts & Entertainment
|BGSU Centennial History
The Margit Heskett Collection includes 5 linear feet of correspondence, files, literary productions, printed materials, news clippings, photographs, sound recordings and motion picture film documenting her life as a dancer, scholar and innovative instructor of dance at Bowling Green State University from 1965-1979. The collection begins with Margit’s parents’ correspondence in Europe in1913 and ends with her own memorial service in 2010.
The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Mrs. Heskett in April 2008 and subsequent materials were added by her executor Dr. Richard Hebein upon her death in 2010. No restrictions have been placed upon its use for scholarly purposes. WBGU Television maintains copyright control over filmed dance sequences included in the collection. Eric Honneffer completed the finding aid in August 2008 and made updates in 2012.
Margit Blochova Heskett taught dance at Bowling Green State University in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation from 1965 until her retirement in 1979. Modern and folk dancing were her specialties. The University Performing Art Dancers were formed during her tenure. She also organized dance workshops for the community, led dance troupes on tours and traveled extensively in Europe where she studied and performed. Her passion for the arts, dance and movement has inspired her over the years to share her gift with not only high school and college students but with hospitalized veterans, the elderly and the physically and mentally handicapped. Her big heart has also made room for a number of adorable, small dogs.
Margit B. Heskett, a native of Czechoslovakia, was born July 17, 1920 to Karl and Flora Bloch in Teplice in northwest Bohemia. While in her late teens she and her parents fled their homeland and came to the United States in the wake of World War II. Her father, an architectural engineer settled the family in New York. Margit enrolled at Columbia University to study architecture. Her deep interest in the arts, however, prompted her to change her major. She received her B.S. degree in physical education from Wittenberg University and in 1964 completed her M.A. in dance at Columbia. She married Cliff Heskett. Before coming to BGSU she had taught elsewhere in Ohio: Fairborn City Schools in Fairborn, Antioch College in Yellow Springs and Central Catholic High School in Springfield.
After her retirement from BGSU in 1979 she traveled and conducted private dance instruction and exercise classes. In 1978 she established at the university the Bloch/Heskett Ethnic Arts Award in memory of her mother. By the mid to late 1980's she returned to BGSU to teach part-time in the Department of Ethnic Studies. As a scholar of eastern European cultures, her classes focused primarily upon European immigration to the United States and German and French language for travelers. She completed her memoirs in 2008 and was working on a second memoir left uncompleted at the time of her death on August 13, 2010.
|Scope and Content
The Margit B. Heskett Collection includes a variety of documents which when taken together comprise a relatively complete picture of her life beginning with her youth in Teplice, Czechoslovakia in the 1920’s and 1930’s through her post retirement years and the early writing stages of a second memoir before her death in 2010.
The correspondence and news clippings provide considerable detail about her life in dance, her associates, her folk dancing studies abroad, her travels, a vast interest in the arts, and her commitment to Ethnic Studies at BGSU. Since Margit was the only child of Karl and Flora Bloch, family documents comprise a large portion of the collection beginning with her parents’ correspondence in 1913.
The photographs are a comprehensive document of Mrs. Heskett’s childhood, family, career, and friendships. Photographs and designs of her family villa in Teplice and other buildings in that area attributed to her engineer/architect father, Karl, are a useful historic record of construction in that part of eastern Europe on the eve of WWII.
Researchers of dance would find useful the documents and notes recording the dance notation, choreography and musical accompaniment for staging various dance productions Margit Heskett directed during her time at BGSU. She collaborated with colleagues from all branches of the arts to create unique productions that blended together creative forces. An original production of Antigone was filmed by the university television station, WBGU, as a documentary in the late 1960’s. The collection contains performance details and musical accompaniment by Paul Pasteur for this television program. No film copy of this production is included.
The collection does, however, include performance footage of several dance selections by the university performing dance group, Orchesis, (some featuring Margit Heskett) filmed by WBGU between 1966 and 1970. This visual record of Mrs. Heskett and her dancers is a valuable resource to anyone interested in studying dance at the university during this time period. The collection also contains programs printed for university dance performances offering additional details about the productions.
Researchers should bear in mind that some correspondence and printed materials within the collection are in Czech, German and French languages.
DANCE RESEARCH FILES
VIKTOR MALCEV FILES
MARGIT HESKETT FAMILY FILES
MARGIT'S RED BOOK FILES
M. HESKETT PUBLICATIONS
DANCE PRODUCTION RECORDS
MARGIT'S RED BOOK AND MY BOHEMIAN HERITAGE MANUSCRIPTS
MISCELLANEOUS LITERARY WORKS
MOTION PICTURE FILM
Box 5: Printed Material
Box 6: Printed Material
Box 8: Photographs
OVERSIZE Box 2