Gypsy Rose Lee and Her Girls

Object Details

Title:

Gypsy Rose Lee and Her Girls

Artist/Maker(s):

Ralph Steiner (American, 1899 - 1986)

Culture:

American

Date:

1944

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

26.5 x 33.8 cm (10 7/16 x 13 5/16 in.)

Copyright:

Status undetermined

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In addition to recording dances for posterity, photographs extended the celebrity of individual dancers. The famous burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee was especially aware of photography's value as a public relations tool. A friend of Ralph Steiner's, Lee commissioned him to make this photograph as part of a series of publicity shots.

On a rural road in the Bronx, Lee posed wearing a shimmering, sequined gown and fur, flanked by a Rolls Royce and Louis Vuitton luggage and surrounded by her spectacularly costumed "girls." Lee's elegant presentation gives no hint that her costume weighed over seventy pounds or that the day was hot and her makeup took two hours to apply.

Exhibitions
Photographs from the Sam Wagstaff Collection (November 15, 1985 to January 11, 1986)
  • The Photographers' Gallery, (London), November 15, 1985 to January 11, 1986
Fame and Photography (March 9 to May 23, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), March 9 to May 23, 1993
Dance in Photography (February 2 to March 28, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 2 to March 28, 1999
Fashion and Transgression (January 29 to April 12, 2003)
  • Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, (Los Angeles), January 29 to April 12, 2003
In Focus: The Worker (November 3, 2009 to March 21, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 3, 2009 to March 21, 2010
Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity (April 3 to September 2, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 3 to September 2, 2012