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George Kaufman (with Jean Dixon and Hugh O'Connell)

George Kaufman (with Jean Dixon and Hugh O
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Ralph Barton, 14 Aug 1891 - 19 May 1931
George Simon Kaufman, 16 Nov 1889 - 2 Jun 1961
Jean Dixon, 1896 - 1981
Hugh O'Connell, 1898 - 1943
c. 1931
Ink wash with black crayon on paper
Sheet: 55.7 x 39.2cm (21 15/16 x 15 7/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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Born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Preeminent Broadway playwright George S. Kaufman collaborated with newcomer Moss Hart in 1930 to create Once in a Lifetime. In this wicked satire, three small-time vaudevillians go to Hollywood to make their fortune teaching elocution to tongue-tied screen actors during the early days of talking pictures. Caricaturist Ralph Barton captured Kaufman (back left) and two of this hit’s stars, Jean Dixon and Hugh O’Connell, during the play’s run of 406 performances. For his next show, Kaufman collaborated with George and Ira Gershwin on Of Thee I Sing, which in 1932 became the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize. Kaufman’s other successes include Animal Crackers, Cocoanuts, The Royal Family, You Can’t Take It with You, and The Man Who Came to Dinner.
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National Portrait Gallery