Peninsula Park, 1957

Ballet practice at Peninsula Park, 1957. Noted on the back of the image, “Mrs. Claire Keller, instructor checks technique of two of many housewives now enrolled….”


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2001-045.623.


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3 thoughts on “Peninsula Park, 1957

  1. This is one of the funniest photos I’ve seen! Imagine June Cleaver doing leg stretches in a full skirt. LOL! Oh well, they both managed to get both legs up to the bar.

  2. This photograph was published in The Oregonian on November 21, 1957 (p. 35) under the headline, “Ballet Routines Aid Figure.” The photo caption reads: Mrs. Claire Keller, instructor, checks technique of two of many housewives now enrolled in Portland park bureau ballet classes, mostly inspired by desire to slim.” It lists places and times of classes, too.

    On April 19, 1972 (p. 49) The Oregonian shows another photo of Ms. Keller smiling at another woman. The caption reads: TEACHER RETIRING — Choreographer Claire Keller will retire from teaching dancing and gymnastics at Fulton Park Community Center in August. Her last big production with the Bureau of Parks and Recreation will be presented Thursday and Friday….”

    There were dozens of other mentions of her over the years, usually in lists of people responsible for dance productions.

    I wonder if there’s any connection between Claire Keller and the Keller Auditorium?

  3. Per public records, Claire N. (Leonard) Keller, born in Portland in 1911 died here in 2008. She worked for the Parks Bureau Recreation dept. for many years and did other theatrical production work. She was married (1930) to a Thomas Frank Keller (1905-1988), who was in the dry cleaning business. No relation, apparently, to Richard B. (and father Ira) Keller for whom the downtown entertainment venues were named.

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