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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
This small collection is related to the Arthur Mitchell Collection, and consists mainly of Dance Theater of Harlem publications, performance history, and Frank Bara's drawings and other materials that he used to create the Dance Theatre of Harlem 20th Anniversary Puzzle. Including some of Bara's original drawings and mock-ups for the DTH Puzzle, a digital copy of the VHS tape made when he presented it to Arthur and members of the DTH company in 1991, a DVD on the Biographical Luciano Pavarotti Jigsaw Puzzle made by Bara, and a DVD of the work of David and Abraham Roentgen and the Marie-Antoinette automaton filmed for the Metropolitan Museum by Bara's partner Marvin Hayes, artist, innovative videographer and software designer.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
Boxes 1 & 2 of this collection are located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
Conditions Governing Use
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Frank Bara Collection; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Arthur Mitchell Collection., Columbia University Libraries.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Frank Bara started making jigsaw puzzles in 1972. From a New York Sun article (https://www.nysun.com/on-the-town/living-breathing-and-working-as-santa-all-year/6069/): His puzzles, the pieces of which are so delicate that they need to be handled with tweezers, take between three months and a year to make. He hand paints and wood-burns each piece and spells words by carving intricate series of letters out of the wood itself. Mr. Bara's largest puzzle, commissioned by the Dance Theater of Harlem, was 9-feet long and had 4,000 pieces. "It has the names in it of everybody who was associated with the theater for its first 20 years," said Mr. Bara. "There are paintings and sculptures in it. There are two miniature grand pianos." He started off making the puzzles as opening-night gifts for theater friends, but as his work became better known, so did his clientele. Mr. Bara has puzzled for Bob Fosse, Lucianno Pavarotti, and Stephen Sondheim.