Oct 29, 2014
Oct 29, 2014

Gypsy: On the Road (Curves Ahead)

Gypsy: On the Road (Curves Ahead)


Ralph Steiner

(American, 1899-1986)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 18 x 23.2 cm (7 1/16 x 9 1/8 in.); Paper: 20 x 25.2 cm (7 7/8 x 9 15/16 in.); Matted: 40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.); Image with black margin: 18.6 x 23.8 cm (7 5/16 x 9 3/8 in.)

Gift of Therese and Murray Weiss 2014.383



With the advent of the Great Depression, the theaters around Times Square gained new neighbors: burlesque houses featuring stripteases. At the very top of that profession was Gypsy Rose Lee, whose wit and creativity catapulted her into film, theater, and eventually television. Lee commissioned this publicity photo from her friend Ralph Steiner for a 1950 tour; the image was probably a collaboration between the two. The fur, Rolls Royce, and Louis Vuitton luggage attest to Lee’s professional and financial success and elevated tastes. In the bottom photograph, Lee’s fame and name are exploited to promote a less well known performer, Marie Cord.

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