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Josephine Baker

@ National Portrait Gallery


Born Saint Louis, MissouriJosephine Baker took Paris by storm in 1925 when she appeared with the American troupe called La Revue Nègre. An innovative dancer, Baker developed a style that reflected a number of influences, from early black vaudeville to music hall and ballet. In Paris, she received instruction from some of the most important choreographers and dancers of the era. The famous dancer Serge Lifar described Baker as “the high priestess of an art which she has interpreted under the sign of Genius.” Artist Paul Colin, whose posters of Baker launched her career as well as his, made these studies. They relate to the images in his 1927 portfolio of lithographs, Le Tumulte Noir, which celebrated the rage for American jazz, the Charleston, and “La Baker.”These colorful drawings show Baker dancing animatedly and reveal Colin’s early involvement in Baker’s career in Paris.
Ink And Watercolor On Paper
Created Date:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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National Portrait Gallery

Record Harvested From

Smithsonian Institution