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A collaboration with Toledo Ballet, which held its first performance of The Nutcracker at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1941, Degas and the Dance is an immersive experience, allowing visitors to learn about and interact with the work of the artist and his most prominent subject. French Impressionist Edgar Degas (1834–1917) began studying dancers late in his career, yet ballet imagery (in sculpture, paintings, pastels, prints, and photography) constitutes more than half of his body of work.

Degas was fixated on the ballet as a subject, especially the unrehearsed and unprompted movements of its dancers. Degas and the Dance juxtaposes the artist’s works with archival material and costumes pertaining to the development of Toledo’s own ballet company and its 75 years performing The Nutcracker. A ballet studio in the exhibition space welcomes visitors to watch scheduled rehearsals and to learn the art of ballet for themselves.

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  • “Muses work all day long and then at night get together and dance.”

    –Edgar Degas

    Image: Degas (far right) and M. and Mme Fourchy, about 1900.

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Founded in 1939, the Toledo ballet has been a leader in training generations of dancers. It began performing portions of The Nutcracker in 1941 (at the Museum) and this year celebrates 75 years of continuous productions of the beloved ballet, the longest running in the country. “It’s iconic, this tradition,” said Michael Lang, Toledo Ballet choreographer. “What’s fascinating is we have kids whose parents or grandparents were in the show. It’s like a cast of 160 years.” Costumes, memorabilia, and archival images celebrating the Toledo Ballet’s 75-year milestone will be on display in Degas and the Dance.

Image: Marie Bollinger Vogt, 1940. Courtesy of The Blade

  • Dec. 12—13, 2015 75th Annual Nutcracker with the Toledo Symphony

    Stranahan Theater
    For more information, or to purchase your season tickets,
    please call 419-471-0049.

  • Jan. 3, 2016 Awkward Girl: A Journey through Degas

    Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle
    Free admission.

Toledo Ballet Open Rehearsals

Watch the Toledo Ballet in rehearsal as they prepare for their upcoming productions of The Nutcracker, The Rite of Spring, and Awkward Girl (inspired by ballet-themed works by Degas in TMA’s collection). Rehearsals are scheduled from 6:45–8:30 p.m. on October 16 and 23, November 6 and 20, December 4 and 18, and January 1.

Toledo Ballet Founder Marie Vogt in Conversation with Brian Kennedy

Saturday, Nov. 7 at 11 a.m.

In 1939 Marie Vogt founded the Toledo Ballet, inspiring generations of young dancers. Vogt will talk with TMA Director Brian Kennedy about the Ballet’s rich cultural legacy.


For more Degas-inspired items and gifts, visit The Museum Store.

Members get an additional 10% off in-store & online purchases Dec. 4, 2015. Excludes original art.

Exhibition Catalogue

Degas and the Dance

With explorations of 16 works of art, this companion catalogue also includes essays that place Degas’s images of the ballet in the context of the artist’s overall philosophy of art and the social milieu of the Paris Opéra Ballet, and offer the perspective of a choreographer inspired to create a ballet based on Degas’s work.

Includes essays by Lawrence W. Nichols, William Hutton senior curator of European and American painting and sculpture before 1900, research intern Marnie Hull, and Toledo Ballet choreographer Michael Lang.

Copies can be purchased at The Museum Store or online for $12.95.


TMA Glass | 2015

Seventh Edition Ornament

The beauty of a physical art form is celebrated by Ohio native and internationally award-winning glass artist Bandhu Dunham with his entirely handcrafted, limited edition glass ornament created especially for the Toledo Museum of Art Store. Taking his inspiration from Degas’s love of the ballet, and honoring the Toledo Ballet’s 75th anniversary of its performance of The Nutcracker, Dunham created an exquisitely delicate glass ballet slipper.

$40 each


Friday Dec. 4

  • 6:45–8:30 pm Toledo Ballet Open Rehearsal

Thursday, Dec. 10

  • 6 pm Lecture: Masters Series with Degas expert George T.M. Shackelford


Saturday, Dec. 12

  • 2 pm Dance on Film Series: The Company

    2003. 112 minutes. Little Theater

Thursday, Dec. 17

  • 7-9 p.m. Drawing in the Galleries

    Canaday Gallery

Want upcoming programming and events delivered to your inbox?

Fill out the form and we’ll send you our Degas and the Dance programs and events guide. You can also visit our Event Calendar for daily, weekly, and monthly views of Museum activities.

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Touch Tours

Touch Tours introduce people with visual impairments to sculpture by allowing them to experience the works of art with their hands. A Touch Tour featuring works in both Degas and the Dance and In Motion: Dance and Performance in Art is available and features the following objects:


Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Study for Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Bronze, 1919–1921. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1950.246


Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Rearing Horse. Bronze, wax figure: 1880s; bronze cast: 1919-1921. Museum Purchase, 1952.70


Unknown (French, 19th century), Bacchus Dancing. Patinated plaster, about 1870–75. Gift of Mrs. C. Lockhart McKelvy, 1953.27


For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Maria Iafelice at

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In Motion: Dance and Performance in Art

Sept. 18, 2015–Jan. 3, 2016

Works on Paper Gallery

Dancing is a powerful expression of movement and emotion. It can be part of celebration, formal performance, or even religion, and has always been a natural subject for art. Spontaneous or choreographed, private or public, always evolving and ever popular, dance has been a vehicle for artists to study the human body in motion, to lampoon human foibles, and to express joy or romance. These and other aspects of dance can be seen in this exhibition assembled mainly from the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.


In the back of the Canaday Gallery is a dance studio where visitors will have the opportunity to practice ballet positions much like the dancers in the rehearsal scenes depicted by Degas. Follow the prompts on the gallery wall and share your dance experience on your social media network of choice using the hashtag #FindDegas.

Pictured here is Toledo Ballet dancer Charlotte Thurston.


Inspired by Degas’s penchant for sketching live models, our Drawing in the Galleries program will include sessions featuring guest artist instructors and live models. No experience is necessary and all drawing supplies will be provided. Contribute to the #FindDegas campaign and post your sketches on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.


Thursday, Oct. 15
7–9 p.m. | Great Gallery

Sunday, Oct. 25
1–3 p.m. | Canaday Gallery

Thursday, Nov. 19
7–9 p.m. | Canaday Gallery

Friday, Nov. 27
7–9 p.m. | Canaday Gallery

Thursday, Dec. 17
7–9 p.m. | Canaday Gallery

Saturday, Dec. 26
1–3 p.m. | Canaday Gallery

Sunday, Dec. 27
1–3 p.m. |Canaday Gallery

Tuesday, Dec. 29
1–3 p.m. | Canaday Gallery

Wednesday, Dec. 30
1–3 p.m. | Canaday Gallery

Thursday, Dec. 31
1–3 p.m. | Canaday Gallery


Murals installed throughout the Toledo region feature an assortment of ballerinas drawn from Degas’s works, several of which are from paintings and sculpture featured in Degas and the Dance. Go exploring, find all the ballerinas, and post them to Instagram with the hashtag #FindDegas. All the images will be featured here and we’ll share some of our favorites on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Mural Locations

South Toledo
3656 Rugby
Toledo, OH 43614

Perrysburg, OH
201 Louisiana Ave.
Perrysburg, OH 43551

East Toledo
101 Main St.
Toledo, OH 43605

Downtown Toledo
SeaGate Convention Centre Monroe St. & N. Superior St.

UpTown Toledo
1120 Adams St.
Toledo, OH 43604

West Toledo
3305 West Central Ave.
Toledo, OH 43606

Sylvania, OH
5645 Main St.
Sylvania, OH 43560

Thank you to Rachel Richardson from Art Corner Toledo, the City of Perrysburg Historic Landmark Commission, the City of Toledo, The Arts Commission and Off Contact Productions.


Museums participating in this public art project include the Art Institute of Chicago; Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki, Japan.

Follow the dancers. #FindDegas.

Follow the exhibition on Instagram