John Van Lund

John Van Lund was born in St. Louis in 1916, and came to the Berkshires in 1939 as an engineer for General Electric, later changing careers and teaching high school math until his retirement in 1977. John first visited Jacob's Pillow in 1941, witnessing one of the last performances given in the barn now known as the Bakalar Studio. When he later returned to the Pillow and saw John Lindquist photographing dancers, he was inspired to begin using his own camera to capture dance images on film. The year was 1946, and it was the beginning of a partnership with dance and dancers that would last into the 1990s. For decades, Lindquist and Van Lund complemented each other as Pillow photographers, with Lindquist best known for his open-air photos while Van Lund concentrated on stage shots during dress rehearsals. His wife, Helen Van Lund, tended the Pillow's flower gardens for many years and served on the Pillow board in the 1970s. Helen's ashes were scattered in the Pillow's gardens following her death in 1987, and John asked that his ashes join hers at his memorial service in April 2010. When he moved into assisted living in the late 1990s, John donated all of his exhibition prints, and an enormous collection of photographic negatives to the Pillow Archives, where they document more than four decades of dance and dancers.
Related collection
John Van Lund Collection