Josephine Baker, by Murray Korman, 1936 - NPG x135816 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Josephine Baker

by Murray Korman
vintage bromide print, 1936
10 in. x 7 7/8 in. (253 mm x 200 mm) overall
Bequeathed by Patrick O'Connor, 2010
NPG x135816

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Andrew Batt

2 January 2017, 12:34

This portrait of Josephine Baker, is also by Murray Korman who took the other one in your collection. The photo session dates from 1936 and was taken in New York to promote Bakers appearance in the Ziegfeld Follies - the first and last black star ever to do so. Josephine appeared in three segments, dancing and then singing. This photo illustrates the third segment of her appearance where she performed the song “Five a.m.” by Vernon Duke and Ira Gershwin and was choreographed by Georges Balanchine. The outfits were designed by Vincent Minelli, and this dress was gold in colour. Baker is depicted here with her dancers in the “Five a.m.” segment. (ref p100 Josephine Baker, by Hammond & O’Connor 1988 and p168 Jazz Cleopatra by Phyllis Rose). A similar shot from this shoot of Baker wearing the same outfit was auctioned recently on artnet and is clearly signed by Murray Kormanéphine-baker-1906-1975-4-works-XnEGdEcx9_GjKle25Kan9Q2
You can also see the same background in Murray Korman’s portrait of Bakers appearance in her first segment at the Ziegfeld Follies wearing the well known silver spike outfit here: ref p138-139 Josephine Baker, by Hammond & O’Connor 1988.

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