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Dance Writer Marilyn Maxfield Hunt Has Passed Away


A burial service will be held on December 3rd at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

On October 16 Marilyn Maxfield Hunt of Santa Fe passed away in her home surrounded by family.

Marilyn Maxfield was born in 1937 in Oklahoma City to James Sydney and Frances (Bragg) Maxfield and split her time between Oklahoma City and her parents' ranch in Hereford, Texas. She met the love of her life, Franklin Hunt, while a high school student at Casady School in Oklahoma City. They married on July 12, 1958 and were devoted to each other for 63 years.

Marilyn Hunt earned a BA in French at Wellesley College and a MA in art history from Columbia University. Upon moving to Brooklyn, New York, she became a staff member of the Guggenheim Museum and later of the dance collection of the New York Public Library.

When she developed the dream of becoming a dance writer, Marilyn contacted the local newspaper Brooklyn Heights Press and began reviewing ballet and modern dance performances. In time she became a widely published dance writer and her work appeared in The Independent in London, Ballet Review and Dance Chronicle. Marilyn served as president of the Society of Dance History Scholars. In addition to writing regularly for Dance Magazine she became one of its senior editors. Over the course of her writing career, she interviewed many important figures from the dance world including Igor Youskevitch, Anton Dolin, Eugene Loring, Gene Kelly, Joseph Duell and Daniel Duell as well as other dancers and choreographers from American Ballet Theater and New York City Ballet. She became good friends with many of the people she wrote about.

Years later when she and Franklin began splitting their time between New York City and Santa Fe, Marilyn pursued new creative endeavors. She became a photographer, showing her work in local New Mexico galleries and she partnered with Andrew Garcia of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico in order to make a documentary film about his family group of traditional dancers.

She is survived by her husband Franklin, daughters Laura Van Arnam (Rick) and Molly Hunt (Mark Sardella), two granddaughters Emma and Elizabeth Van Arnam, her cousin Ronald Maxfield, sister-in-law Marjorie Hunt and several nieces and nephews.

A burial service will be held on December 3rd at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. A celebration of her life will be held May 21-22, 2022, in Santa Fe, NM. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation are welcome.

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