A man of enormous refinement, varied interests, and definite tastes, Kirstein was also the author of numerous essays, many collected in By With To & From (1991); a novel (1932); two books of poetry (1965, 1987); dance and art criticism; and several works on modern figurative artists, including the definitive biography of Elie Nadelman (1973) and two studies of Pavel Tchelitchew (1947, 1994). In the U.S. army during and after World War II, Kirstein was instrumental in recovering for their owners works of art plundered by Nazi officials during the war. As a producer he worked with the American Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford, Conn., and for many years presented the 12th-century musical drama The Play of Daniel annually at Christmas in New York. Kirstein also promoted cultural exchange programs between Japan and the United States.
See his memoirs, Thirty Years with the New York City Ballet (1978), Quarry (1986), and Mosaic (1994); biography by M. Duberman (2007).
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