Lavinia Williams and Virginia Lee:
The Williams family lived in New York through Lavinia’s teenage years, where she attended Washington Irving High School and then received a scholarship from Virginia Lee to attend the Arts Students League. Williams studied at the Arts Students League until she was 20 years old.
More about Virginia Lee:
“Virginia Lee founded the famous Ballet Arts School in 1937, and it is the oldest continuously operating dance school in NYC after the School of American Ballet (which opened 3 years earlier). From its time at Studio 61 in Carnegie Hall, the school has hosted many important dance pioneers, including the Isadora Duncan Dancers, Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis and was an important rehearsal space for artists such as Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, and Agnes DeMille. (1449)”
Lavinia Williams and the Arts Students League:
The prejudice of the South didn’t allow Williams to dance alongside white children in the studio, so she had to take private lessons. The Williams family lived in New York through Lavinia’s teenage years, where she attended Washington Irving High School and then received a scholarship from Virginia Lee to attend the Arts Students League. Williams studied at the Arts Students League until she was 20 years old.
More about the Arts Students League:
“Founded by and for artists 140 years ago, the underlying principles set by the League’s founders have remained unchanged: emphasizing the importance of artistic creativity,
The Art Students League was founded in 1875 by a group of artists– almost all of whom were students at the National Academy of Design in New York City and many of whom were women. The artists declared their intention to found a new school by pinning a notice on the bulletin board of the Academy inviting students and instructors to attend a meeting. This occurred when it was rumored that the National Academy, due to financial difficulties, would cancel all classes temporarily, forcing students to forgo drawing from life for a significant period of time. Also at that time, in the post-Civil War era, New York City was rapidly becoming the artistic capital of the nation. However, many young artists, influenced by modern European developments, felt that the Academy’s instruction was too conservative and unsympathetic to their new ideas about art.”