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The Bronze Venus

The Bronze Venus
Usage Conditions Apply
Alternate Title
Lena Horne
Artist
Morgan Lithography Company, active c. 1917 - 1945
Sitter
Lena Calhoun Horne, 30 Jun 1917 - 9 May 2010
Date
1943
Type
Print
Medium
Color halftone lithographic movie poster on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 204.1 × 103.4cm (80 3/8 × 40 11/16")
Paper mount: 207.8 × 108.6cm (81 13/16 × 42 3/4")
Topic
Costume\Jewelry
Music\Musical instrument\Trumpet
Music\Musical instrument\Trombone
Poster
Human Figures
Poster\Movie
Lena Calhoun Horne: Female
Lena Calhoun Horne: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater
Lena Calhoun Horne: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist\Civil rights activist
Lena Calhoun Horne: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Lena Calhoun Horne: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Popular
Lena Calhoun Horne: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Television
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Morgan Lithography Company
Object number
NPG.2005.139
Exhibition Label
Born Brooklyn, New York
Lena Horne blazed a trail for African American entertainers, overcoming racial prejudice to achieve mainstream popularity as a singer and actor. Starting out as a sixteen-year-old dancer at Harlem’s Cotton Club, she was soon fascinating Manhattan nightclub audiences with her expressive voice. In 1942 Metro-Goldwin-Mayer offered Horne a long-term movie contract—a virtually unprecedented achievement for a woman of color at that time. This poster advertises the re-release of a film Horne made in 1938, retitled The Bronze Venus to call attention to the rising star’s beauty as well as her skin color. A passionate civil rights activist, Horne refused to accept roles that reinforced negative racial stereotypes, and she abandoned Hollywood in the mid-1950s to focus on live performance and recording. Her one-woman Broadway show garnered Tony and Grammy awards in 1981, and she received a second Grammy in 1996.
Nacida en Brooklyn, New York
Lena Horne abrió brecha para los artistas afroamericanos al superar los prejuicios raciales y alcanzar popularidad entre el público general como cantante y actriz. Comenzó su carrera a los dieciséis años como bailarina en el Cotton Club de Harlem y muy pronto cautivó con su expresiva voz al público de los clubes nocturnos de Manhattan. En 1942, la productora cinematográfica Metro-Goldwin-Mayer le ofreció un contrato a largo plazo, lo cual en esa época era un logro prácticamente sin precedentes para una mujer de raza negra. Este cartel sirvió para promocionar el reestreno de una película hecha por Horne en 1938 y luego retitulada The Bronze Venus, en alusión a la belleza y el color de la estrella en ascenso. Ferviente defensora de los derechos civiles, Horne se negó a aceptar roles que reforzaran los estereotipos raciales negativos y abandonó Hollywood a mediados de la década de 1950 para dedicarse a actuaciones en vivo y grabaciones. En 1981 recibió premios Tony y Grammy por su espectáculo unipersonal en Broadway, y en 1996 recibió un segundo Grammy.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery