No image available

Nautch Dancer

Nautch Dancer


Waylande Gregory

(American, 1905-1971)


Cowan Pottery Studio

(American, 1921-31)

made at


Overall: 44.2 x 21.3 x 12.1 cm (17 3/8 x 8 3/8 x 4 3/4 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1930.118


Gregory sculpted human and animal figures in
eclectic styles ranging from realistic to highly
stylized, as seen in this ceramic sculpture. It depicts
Gilda Gray, a dancer notorious for her “bodyshaking…
wicked torso movements” performed to
jazz or blues music. In the 1925 Ziegfield Follies,
Gray added exotic South Seas dances to her
repertoire, including the “nautch dance,” named
after the nautch—a traditional, East Indian,
form-fitting, pleated dress—she wore during the
performance. Although Gray refused the sculptor’s
request for a personal modeling session, she did
provide him with an on-stage seat in the wings,
from which he carefully studied her movements
during several performances in Cleveland.

See also
Decorative Arts
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email