Search the Collections

George W. Walker (1873-1911), Actor and dancer

Sitter in 6 portraits
Born in Lawrence, Kansas, Walker began his career as a member of a troupe of black minstrels before he moved to California where he met Bert Williams in San Francisco in 1893. They were employed by the Mid-Winter Exposition in Golden Gate Park to work at an exhibition on Dahomeyan village life, impersonating Africans who were late to arrive. Williams and Walker studied their singing and dancing which led to Williams' In Dahomey, a musical that was 'a satire on the American Colonization Society's Back to Africa propaganda'. With music by Will Marion Cook and lyrics by Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Alex Roger it opened on Broadway on February 18, 1903 as the first full length black musical comedy.

List Thumbnail

x46668

George W. Walker in 'In Dahomey'

by Cavendish Morton
platinotype print, 1903
NPG x46668

x46667

George W. Walker in 'In Dahomey'

by Cavendish Morton
platinotype print, 1903
NPG x46667

x126391

George W. Walker in 'In Dahomey'

by Cavendish Morton
platinotype print, 1903
NPG x126391

x126392

George W. Walker in 'In Dahomey'

by Cavendish Morton
platinotype print, 1903
NPG x126392

x126393

George W. Walker in 'In Dahomey'

by Cavendish Morton
platinotype print, 1903
NPG x126393

x126394

George W. Walker in 'In Dahomey'

by Cavendish Morton
platinotype print, 1903
NPG x126394