What is the Corey Collection?

What is the Corey Collection?
Bridwell Broadside V
Written by Charles Braden
Design and production by William Richard Chiles and Fallon Snyder
January 1967

Arthur B. Corey (1900–1977) was a professional dancer during the 1920s appearing in Broadway musicals in Chicago and New York, and later operated the Arthur Corey College of Fine Arts in Indianapolis. During the 1930s and 1940s he became a practitioner in the Church of Christ, Scientist, eventually serving as the First Reader of Twelfth Church in Chicago.

Clarissa Hale (1883–1963) was the daughter of Mary Bassett and one of the founders of Hale Brothers & Company department store in San Jose, California, Oliver Ambrose Hale. She married Hugh Anketell Studdert-Kennedy (1877–1943), Anglican priest, foreign editor of the Christian Science Monitor, biographer of Mary Baker Eddy, and prolific author of books about Christian Science. Hugh’s realistic, yet sympathetic, portrayal of Mary Baker Eddy, Mrs. Eddy: Her Life, Her Work, and Her Place in History, met disapproval from church authorities and was held from publication. Hugh and Clarissa had formed the Farallon Press in order to publish Hugh’s earlier book, Christian Science and Organized Religion and sought to regain control of the biography. After Hugh’s death, Clarissa continued to pursue its publication.

Clarissa Hale Studdert-Kennedy and Arthur Corey married in 1946. Arthur assisted Clarissa in securing the manuscript and publishing Hugh’s Mrs. Eddy. After a growing disillusionment with denominational leaders, Corey severed ties in 1945, and wrote three books about his experiences and research: Christian Science Class Instruction (1945), Personal Introduction to God (1952) and Behind the Scenes with the Metaphysicians (1968), published independently and without authorization by the church.

In 1961 Dr. Arthur Corey gave to Bridwell Library seventeen hundred volumes on the history and development of Christian Science, metaphysics, and stage magic. An archival collection, also given to Bridwell, includes his correspondence and extensive research on Christian Science leaders, as well as photographs related to his dance career.

Corey’s final book, Danse Macabre: The Life and Death of Andreas Pavley, was published in 1977 by Bridwell Library. The work is a biography of one of Corey’s colleagues from his years as a professional dancer in Chicago.

corey-collection-broadside.jpg Corey broadside.png
Upper Basement Corridor
What is the Corey Collection?