Register of the Miranda Eudora Matson Papers,

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Miranda Eudora Matson Papers,
Dates: 1915-1978. (inclusive)
Collection Number: Mss B 191
Summary: Professional dancer, dance teacher, choreographer. Most of the material consists of published items such as programs and magazines. Some programs from Salt Lake theaters were removed and filed in the Society's theater programs collection. The collection includes a stack of pre-World War I sheet music and three issues of "The Denishawn Magazine," including volume 1, number 1.
Repository: Utah State Historical Society

Collection Inventory +/-

Box Folder Contents
Box , Folder : Paper, etc.
Box 1, Folder 1 : Personal Papers; Resume; Certificates and Licenses
Box 1, Folder 2 : Correspondence, 1915-1978
Box 1, Folder 3 : Dennishawn Materials
Box 1, Folder 4 : Sheet Music for Matson Choreography
Box 1, Folder 5 : Description of Choreography
Box 1, Folder 6 : Scrapbook on Costumes
Box 1, Folder 7 : Scrapbook on Dancers and Choreographers.
Box 1, Folder 8 : Posters
Box 1, Folder 9 : National Recreation Association Program
Box 1, Folder 10 : Martha Graham Material
Box 1, Folder 11 : KSL Radio Speech Script on Fitness
Box 2, Folder 1 : Scrapbook on LDS McCune School of Music and Art, 1924-1925
Box 2, Folder 2 : McCune School of Music and Art, 1927, 1932
Box 2, Folder 3 : University of California at Berkeley, Notes 1939
Box 2, Folder 4 : Unorganized Scrapbook
Box 2, Folder 5 : Advertisements, Stationery, Newsclippings, 1922-1952
Box 3, Folder 1 : Santa Monica, California
Box 3, Folder 2 : School Publications, 1911-1949
Box 3, Folder 3 : Brochures of Le Christ Dance Magazine
Box 3, Folder 4 : Miscellaneous Programs
Box 3, Folder 5-7 : Photographs
Box , Folder : Yearbooks
Box 4, Folder 1 : The West Panther Yearbook, 1930
Box 4, Folder 2 : The West Panther Yearbook, 1931
Box 4, Folder 3 : The West Panther Yearbook, 1938
Box 4, Folder 4 : The West Panther Yearbook, 1945
Box 4, Folder 5 : The West Panther Yearbook, 1946
Box 4, Folder 6 : The Southerner Yearbook, 1934
Box , Folder : Periodicals and Programs
Box 5, Folder 1 : The American Dancer, February 1928
Box 5, Folder 2 : The American Dancer, May 1933
Box 5, Folder 3 : The American Dancer, June 1935
Box 5, Folder 4 : The American Dancer, May 1938
Box 5, Folder 5 : The American Dancer, June 1938
Box 5, Folder 6 : The American Dancer, August 1938
Box 5, Folder 7 : Ballet Theater programs, Season of 1934-1944
Box 5, Folder 8 : Ballet Theater programs, Season of 1944-1945
Box 5, Folder 9 : The Dance Magazine, April 1930
Box 5, Folder 10 : The Dance Magazine, June 1930
Box 5, Folder 11 : The Dance Magazine, July 1930
Box 5, Folder 12 : The Dance Magazine, August 1930
Box 5, Folder 13 : The Dance Magazine, August 1931
Box 5, Folder 14 : Dance, February 1938
Box 5, Folder 15 : Dance, August-October 1940
Box 5, Folder 16 : Dance, April 1941
Box 5, Folder 17 : Dance, November 1945
Box 5, Folder 18 : Dance, May 1946
Box 5, Folder 19 : Dance, March 1947
Box 5, Folder 20 : Dance, August 1947
Box 5, Folder 21 : Dance, September 1948
Box 5, Folder 22 : Dance, November 1948
Box 5, Folder 23 : Dance, January 1949
Box 5, Folder 24 : Dance Theater Programs, Season of 1946-1947
Box 5, Folder 25 : The Dancing Master, May 1932
Box 5, Folder 26 : The Denishawn Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, undated
Box 5, Folder 27 : The Denishawn Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3
Box 5, Folder 28 : The Denishawn Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 4
Box , Folder : Sheet Music
Box 6, Folder : Sheet Music

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

Miranda Eudora Matson was born in Salt Lake City on 1 January 1896. As a child she showed considerable talent in music and dance and performed occasionally in various public events including Catholic charity benefits at the Salt Lake Theater.

Her mother was a widow with four children and could not afford to pay formal dance instruction. Formal training began, almost by accident, while Miranda was a Junior at West High School. Finding that she needed one-half year's credit she enrolled in a dance class. She continued the class during her Senior year and became one of its outstanding members.

At the University of Utah she majored in Health and Physical Education graduating in 1919. During her years at the University she was exposed to the new "modern" dance championed by Isadora Duncan. She devoted her subsequent career to modern dance.

In 1921, Miss Matson studied at the Utah St. Denis-Ted Shawn studio in Los Angeles. She thrived on the difficult regimen and returned to Salt Lake in the Fall a skilled teacher and performer in modern dance. In September, she opened her own studio at 728 South 7th East. In 1924, she returned again to the Denishawn program for training, this time in New York City.

When she returned to Salt Lake in September 1924, Miss Matson was met at the train depot by B. Cecil Gates who offered her the chance to take charge of the dance department at the McCune School of Music and Art. During the years 1926-1928, she reached perhaps the apex of her fame as a performer in the intermountain region when she formed and toured with the Matson-Tipton Dance Artists.

From 1928 to 1934, Miss Matson taught in the Utah public school system dance and physical education at West and South High Schools and when demand for her classes grew too large for existing school facilities at the Deseret Gymnasium. In spite of her popularity, though, the school system could not find sufficient funds to pay her salary competitive with what she could earn teaching privately and performing. Consequently, she moved to Santa Monica, California, and commuted from there to Hollywood and Los Angeles to perform, while teaching in her own studio at the Grover Studio of Music in Santa Monica.

In 1939, Miss Matson returned to Salt Lake and resumed her public school teaching career. Over the next couple of decades, she broadened her teaching base to include not only the University of Utah, but sessions at the University of California at Berkeley as well. Numerous inscriptions in her copies of the annuals at the high schools at which she taught during those years attest to her popularity and camaraderie with the students. In 1967, she returned to Santa Monica, where she lived her last years with one of her sisters and died on 14 February 1978.

Content Description +/-

The Miranda Matson papers are an enormously varied and complex collection of materials that document a busy career. Box 1 contains her personal papers. The heart of the collection is the scrapbooks, programs, newspaper clippings, posters and photographs that document her busy life as a performer. Numerous programs for the Salt Lake Theater were removed from the collection and added to the Theater Programs Collection ( Mss B 44) and clippings of general interest to researchers were removed and added to the clipping file. Box 6 contains sheet music from before WWI through the 1930s. The collection also includes several unique or extremely rare items of great value. Besides the programs, many of which exist nowhere else, there are three copies of The Denishawn Magazine during its first year. The Miranda Matson Collection should prove to be of the highest significance to students of dance in Utah.

Collection Use +/-

Restrictions on Access:

Restrictions on Use

Administrative Information +/-



Matson, Miranda Eudora, 1896-1978.




Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008


6 boxes (3 linear ft.)

Language of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written in Englishin Latin script

EAD Creation Date: