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Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Addison N. Scurlock, 18 Jun 1883 - 16 Dec 1964
Sitter
Madam C. J. Walker, 23 Dec 1867 - 25 May 1919
Date
c. 1914
Type
Photograph
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image/Sheet: 13.1 x 8.8 cm (5 3/16 x 3 7/16")
Mount: 15.2 x 10.2 cm (6 x 4")
Mat: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14")
Topic
Costume\Jewelry\Earring
Interior
Costume\Jewelry\Necklace\Pearl
Costume\Jewelry\Brooch
Madam C. J. Walker: Female
Madam C. J. Walker: Business and Finance\Businessperson
Madam C. J. Walker: Science and Technology\Inventor
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of A'Lelia Bundles/ Walker Family
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Object number
NPG.2008.20
Exhibition Label
Born Delta, Louisiana
One of the most successful African American entrepreneurs of the early twentieth century, Madam C. J. Walker created a line of phenomenally popular hair care and beauty products that fueled a business empire. In 1905, after devising a restorative formula that was used in combination with her improved steel hot comb to treat thinning and damaged hair, she began marketing her products and beauty regimen to the black community. During a troubled period in the history of race relations in America, Walker built a lucrative enterprise that employed thousands in the manufacture and sale of her beauty aids. By the time of her death, she was reputed to be the first self-made female African American millionaire. The Guinness Book of World Records also recognizes her as "the first woman to earn a personal fortune of more than $1 million."
This portrait, by famed African American photographer Addison N. Scurlock, became Walker’s trademark image. It was featured on her product packaging and used extensively in her advertising.
Nacida en Delta, Louisiana
Madam C. J. Walker, una de las empresarias afroamericanas más exitosas de principios del siglo XX, creó una línea de productos de belleza y cuidado del cabello que gozaron de enorme popularidad y cimentaron un imperio comercial. En 1905, luego de concebir una fórmula restauradora que se usaba con su peine de acero caliente para tratar el cabello escaso y dañado, empezó a comercializar sus productos y régimen de belleza entre la comunidad negra. En una época difícil para las relaciones raciales en Estados Unidos, Walker levantó un negocio lucrativo que empleó a miles de personas en la fabricación y venta de sus productos. A su muerte, se afirmaba que había sido la primera afroamericana millonaria. El Libro de récords mundiales Guinness también la reconoce como “la primera mujer que amasó una fortuna personal de más de $1 millón”.
Este retrato tomado por el famoso fotógrafo afroamericano Addison N. Scurlock se convirtió en la imagen emblemática de Walker. Apareció en los empaques de sus productos y en muchos de sus anuncios.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery