De Maré, Rolf (1888–1964) By Steichen, James
Rolf de Maré was a Swedish-born impresario, art collector, and philanthropist. Born into one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, he began collecting modern art at an early age, gaining entrée to the leading artists of the day through his relationship with the painter Nils Dardel. De Maré was the founder and sole patron of the Ballets Suédois, or Swedish Ballet, created as a vehicle for the dancer and choreographer Jean Börlin. Although the company was in existence for only five years, it proved to be the most notable rival to Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, on which it was self-consciously modelled and which it would, in turn, influence. In addition to modern art and ballet, de Maré had a strong interest in Asian and African folk art and artefacts, amassing significant collections in these areas over the course of his many travels. De Maré’s collections constitute the core holdings of two major dance research centres, for which he provided institutional leadership and financial support: the Archives Internationales de la Danse (AID) in Paris and the Dansmuseet (Dance Museum) in Stockholm.