Posts tagged "Josephine Baker"
Josephine Baker was born 108 years ago today in St. Louis, Missouri. She was photographed here by the wonderful Eve Arnold at the “Josephine Baker Day” celebration in New York in 1950. Photo: Magnum Photos.
With “Vintage Black Glamour,” author Nichelle Gainer weaves a story of civil rights, celebrity, and everyday beauty
“Vintage Black Glamour is a bit like a high-minded celebrity Instagram feed that challenges and adds to American pop culture iconography… Gainer’s collection of images isn’t your grade-school Black History Month bulletin board. “Vintage Black Glamour” reminds you that these people had friends and confidants and lovers and charming idiosyncrasies, and that’s what Gainer wants you to see: humanity. “Every month is Black History Month on ‘Vintage Black Glamour,’” she said.” Many thanks to Soraya Nadia McDonald for this fantastic article on VBG in today’s Washington Post! I think she did a good job of explaining what I am doing with Vintage Black Glamour.
I’ve always really loved this picture of Josephine Baker and Joe Louis in Paris in the 1950s. The photo caption from Bettman/Corbis read that Ms. Baker was encouraging Mr. Louis to sing with her during her opening performance at the Club Des Champs Elysees, but I’ve always wondered about the whole night: What did they talk about? Who were they with that evening? There are other photos of them together in this time frame and it’s clear that they were friends (not romantic) and probably had very interesting conversations. Photo by Rene Henry, Bettman/Corbis.
Josephine Baker in Paris, 1940. This picture was taken around the time she joined the French Counterespionage Services and became a counterespionage agent. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Medal of Resistance with Rosette by the French government for her efforts during World War II. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Ministry of Culture (France).
#VBGicon Josephine Baker strikes a pose in her dressing room on March 6, 1951 at the Strand Theater in New York City. Photo: AP.
The “Ebony Venus” and the “Bronze Apollo” - Josephine Baker and the Russian-born French ballet legend, Serge Lifar, on the Lido beach in Venice, 1930s. Ms. Baker talked about this day in “Josephine,” the biography she wrote with her former husband, Jo Bouillon, which was published in 1976, one year after her death.
“We had had a wonderful time together on the beach in Venice during my Italian tour. I loved to hear Serge speak. He was more entertaining than all the pigeons in St. Mark’s Square. I’d like to have been Picasso in order to sketch him… Actually, he knew Picasso, as well as those who had made me the “ebony Venus” and named him the “bronze Apollo.” Paris had welcomed him from the East two years before I arrived from the West. There on the sun-drenched sand, intoxicated with the sheer joy of motion, we danced. What a curious pas de deux – the star dancer of the Paris Opera and a colored entertainer swaying together in bathing suits on the Lido beach.” Photo: Hotel des Ventes, Geneve.
Josephine Baker hanging out with her pet cheetah in 1931. The cheetah’s name? Chiquita. Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS.