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Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Joseph Grant, 15 May 1908 - 6 May 2005
Sitter
Joan Crawford, 23 Mar 1904 - 13 May 1977
Date
1932
Type
Drawing
Medium
India ink, pencil and gouache on paper
Dimensions
Image: 30.5cm x 30.1 cm (12" x 11 7/8")
Sheet: 38.3cm x 35.9 cm (15 1/16" x 14 1/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Carol Grubb and Jennifer Grant Castrup
Object number
NPG.93.416
Exhibition Label
Born San Antonio, Texas
One of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars, Joan Crawford lived the rags-to-riches story line she so often portrayed on camera, escaping a hardscrabble youth by parlaying her talents as a dancer into a pioneering motion picture career. This caricature for the cover of a celebrity magazine exaggerates the large, expressive eyes she used to dramatic effect in the eighty films she made between 1925 and 1970. Dismissed as “box office poison” in 1938, Crawford regained her place in the spotlight through steely determination and shrewd self-reinvention, winning an Academy Award for her performance in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce. Following the death of her fourth husband, Crawford took his place on the Board of Directors of Pepsi-Cola from 1959 to 1973. Her portrayal as an abusive parent in the book Mommie Dearest (1978), written by the eldest of her four adopted children, tarnished her posthumous reputation.
Nacida en San Antonio, Texas
Joan Crawford, una de las estrellas más glamurosas de Hollywood, interpretó muchas veces el papel de la mujer pobre que se hace rica, pero también en la vida real logró escapar de una adolescencia miserable, valiéndose de sus dotes de bailarina para emprender una carrera en el cine. Esta caricatura hecha para la portada de una revista de celebridades exagera los grandes ojos expresivos que Crawford aprovechó como efecto dramático en sus ochenta películas entre 1925 y 1970. Aunque hacia 1938 se le llegó a considerar “veneno de taquilla”, Crawford recuperó el favor del público gracias a su voluntad férrea y a un inteligente cambio de imagen, llegando a ganar el Oscar por su actuación en Mildred Pierce (1945). Al morir su cuarto marido, Crawford lo sustituyó en la junta de directores de Pepsi-Cola desde 1959 hasta 1973. El libro Mommie Dearest, publicado en 1978 por la mayor de sus cuatro hijos adoptivos, la describe como una madre maltratante y ha empañado su reputación póstuma.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Usage
Usage conditions apply