The History of Jazz Galleries at The Sheldon Art Galleries will be the setting for a major exhibition celebrating the life and career of Josephine Baker from April 28 to August 26, 2006. An opening reception free to the public will be held Friday, April 28 from 5 – 7 p.m.
Through vintage photographs, posters, drawings, prints, paintings and ephemera, the exhibition Josephine Baker: Image and Icon will trace the entertainer's important and innovative contributions to the Jazz Age. Mounted in the spring of 2006 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Baker's birth, the exhibition will be drawn from a variety of important public and private collections including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D. C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, the Davis Museum at Wellesley University and others. It will trace the development of her image, first as the exotic "other" in a Paris infatuated by all things African, then as glamorous cabaret star who sustained a long career well into her late 60s.
The exhibition will contain sections on Josephine Baker's early years with Sissle and Blake and other African-American productions, her years as a star in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, and her later participation in the French resistance during World War II and her important contributions to the civil rights movement in America. Listening and video stations will highlight her music, dance and film contributions. Tandem exhibitions of painting, sculpture, decorative arts, architecture and photography from the 1920s and 30s in the Bellwether Gallery, the Gallery of Photography and the Bernoudy Gallery of Architecture will provide a visual arts context that fueled the Jazz Age and the remarkable life and career of Josephine Baker. In conjunction with the exhibition, The Sheldon will present concerts of early jazz and French cabaret and theatrical productions about Josephine in the adjoining Sheldon Concert Hall.
Josephine Baker: Image and Icon Catalogue
A 168-page hard-bound catalogue with essays by Bennetta Jules-Rosette, Tyler Stovall and Olivia Lahs-Gonzales, co-published by The Sheldon Art Galleries and Reedy Press, St. Louis accompanies the exhibition. Catalogue price $35.00. Available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
Bring your group to the exhibit
Guided tours for groups of 10 or more people may be scheduled by calling the Sheldon Art Galleries at 314-533-9900 ext. 31. Bring your group or organization to see the exhibition Josephine Baker: Image and Icon between April 28 and August 26, 2006 and combine your group visit with a reception, meeting or dinner in one of our two Ballrooms or the Kemper Atrium adjacent to the Galleries. A special discounted rate will be made available for group rentals during the run of the exhibition. French cuisine lunches, buffets and dinners in one of The Sheldon’s two Ballrooms may be scheduled by calling the Director of Events at 314-533-9900 ext. 11.
The exhibition, publication and related education and outreach programs for
Josephine Baker: Image and Icon have been generously underwritten by Mary Strauss.
The Sheldon Art Galleries present Josephine Baker: Image and Icon in partnership with
generous support from The Boeing Company; The City of St.Louis;
the National Endowment for the Arts; Patrick Davis Partners; Paradowski
Creative; the Missouri Humanities Council with support from the National Endowment for the
Humanities; Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg; Joan and Mitchell Markow; and Eleanor J. Moore.
Additional support for the symposium has been provided by
the Des Lee Professorship in Art Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; the
Department of American Studies, Saint Louis University; the Department of Art History and
Archaeology, Washington University; and the Center for the Humanities at the University of
Click the following links for more information:
Josephine Baker Family Day
A History of Josephine Baker
Sheldon 2006 Gala: A Tribute to Josephine Baker featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater
Josephine Baker Film Series
Sheldon Gallery Talks
Accompanying Exhibitions to Josephine Baker: Image and Icon
La Revue Josephine: A Tribute to the Grand Fashion of a St. Louis Icon
to Josephine Baker's Speech at Kiel Opera House, 1952 (PDF). Western Historical Manuscripts Collection,
University of Missouri, St. Louis.
The exhibition is organized by the Sheldon Art Galleries.