Sepia-tinted photo of a woman with curly hair in an evening gown
 
Marlene Dietrich in "Dishonored" (detail)  | Eugene Robert Richee (1895 - 1972) | 1930, Photograph  | Courtesy Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin, Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin, Germany

Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image

June 16, 2017 - April 15, 2018
Second floor

Marlene Dietrich brought androgyny to the silver screen through her roles in such movies as Morocco (1930) and Seven Sinners (1940). The biggest Hollywood star at a time when “talkies” were still new, Dietrich captured men’s hearts and women’s admiration on screen and off.

Dietrich challenged the strictly limited notions of femininity at the time through her lifestyle and fashion: “I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.” Relying on her good looks, striking voice, sense of humor and no-nonsense personality, Dietrich achieved international fame during her long career.

Dietrich’s many honors include the Medal of Freedom for her service entertaining American troops for 18 months during World War II, often on the front lines. The German-born star remains a symbol of anti-Nazism, a fashion icon and an influential figure of the LGBTQ community.


Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image was organized in cooperation with Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin.
 
This exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of Tom L. Pegues and Donald A. Capoccia.  Additional support received from the American Portrait Gala Endowment.
 

Portrait Gallery historian Kate C. Lemay is the curator of this exhibition.

  • View of exhibition entrance -- large blow-up image of Dietrich

    View of "Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image." Photo by Elise Mollica.

  • View of exhibition -- an open book and portraits

    View of "Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image." Photo by Elise Mollica.

  • View of exhibition -- a wall with portraits

    View of "Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image." Photo by Elise Mollica.

  • View of exhibition -- a wall with portraits

    View of "Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image." Photo by Elise Mollica.

  • View of exhibition -- a wall with portraits

    View of "Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image." Photo by Elise Mollica.