Clara Pilates | Pilates History Research

Clara’s Letters to Carola Trier

To view my collection of research photographs of letters and holiday notes from Clara Pilates to Carola Trier. This collection offers a peek back in time to both their personal and professional relationship over the years. It is clear that they stayed in close communication, spent time together, and took photos together based on the words Clara writes.

Notably, one of this particular letter refers to an injury Clara sustained to her foot, and it reads as though it possibly happened while teaching in the studio! She writes, “My foot is still in plaster. And this had to happen to me while I was -teaching control-” 

Amazing! I wonder what could have happened… another reason to wear shoes while teaching in the studio!

All images first shared on 1/8/2022.

Related Topics: Carola Trier, Joseph Pilates Photographer

Carola Trier marketing small brochure
Carola Trier marketing small brochure cover

Letter Mentioned in Life Magazine Article

I came across an article in Life Magazine published in 1938 about Ruth St. Denis and I immediately recalled this letter from Clara Pilates to Ruth St. Denis. Sure enough, it’s the article Clara refers to in this letter. Fascinating! Images first shared February 18, 2023.

Related Topics: Ted Shawn

Letter from Clara Pilates to Ruth St. Denis in Life Magazine Article
Speaking of Pictures Life Magazine Pilates Archive Article 1938

This is the only known article so far that specifically interviews Clara Pilates herself without including interviews from any other teachers or Joe Pilates. This article was written a few years after Joe’s death. It is lovely to read some of Clara’s quotes which we know were directly from Joe himself, as she continued to keep his studio, teachings, and method alive.

Image first shared on 8/14/22.

Clara Pilates Interview

There were a number of fires in the building at 939 8th over the years while The Pilates Studio was in residence. This article is about one of those fires in the 1970s, and the photos show the firefighters taking Clara down the ladder to safety! They don’t mention her by name, only referring to her as a “victim.” Image first shared on 3/5/21.

Clara Pilates in studio fire

An article written about The Pilates Studio in the 1970’s, after Joe passed away. The article contains interviews with both Clara and Romana, and talks about some of the clients who were in attendance at the time, as well as others who were part of the studio in those days. Image first shared on 3/5/21.

"In Pursuit of Bodies Beautiful" article

Two obituaries written for Clara Pilates. They state that she passed away after a fall that broke her hip. They provide interesting details about her, although many points in the obituary written by Bruce King are factually incorrect. (Click images to enlarge.) Image first shared on 3/5/21.

Clara Pilates obituary
Clara Pilates, Teacher of Pilates obituary
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