Essential Events

Portraits of bohemian lives

Celebrity photographer Cris Alexander and his husband, New York City Ballet dancer Shaun O’Brien, were noted figures in Saratoga Springs. They shared a Victorian house surrounded by dense foliage on Woodlawn Avenue, and died within weeks of each other in 2012, Alexander at age 92 and O’Brien at 86. An ongoing exhibit at the Saratoga Springs History Museum celebrates An Exhibition Celebrating the Creative, Bohemian Lives of Celebrity Photographer Cris Alexander and his Husband, NYC Ballet Dancer Shaun O’Brien with over 230 celebrity photographs taken by Alexander. In 1938, Alexander left Tulsa, Oklahoma, for New York City, landing a major part as Chip, a sailor in the 1944 Broadway musical “On the Town.” He went on to play other Broadway roles, but Alexander’s true calling was as a photographer. He took portraits of entertainers like Martha Graham and Vivien Leigh, gave costume parties and snapped campy photos of his friends, and worked for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and the New York City Ballet. O’Brien was the lead character dancer for NYCB for over 35 years. The exhibit illustrates how the couple celebrated life and created art together for over 65 years.

The Saratoga Springs History Museum, in the Canfield Casino in Congress Park, is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for students; members and children under 12 admitted free. For more information, call (518) 584-6920 or visit



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