Mar 6, 2019

Men Walking Past Advertisement for Burlesque Show with Boo LaVon

Men Walking Past Advertisement for Burlesque Show with Boo LaVon

c. 1940

Lloyd Ullberg

(American, 1904–1996)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 6.3 x 8.9 cm (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.)

Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2018.661



With the advent of the Great Depression, the theaters around Times Square gained new neighbors: burlesque houses featuring stripteases. At the very top of that profession was Gypsy Rose Lee, whose wit and creativity catapulted her into film, theater, and eventually television. Lee commissioned this publicity photo from her friend Ralph Steiner for a 1950 tour; the image was probably a collaboration between the two. The fur, Rolls Royce, and Louis Vuitton luggage attest to Lee’s professional and financial success and elevated tastes. In the bottom photograph, Lee’s fame and name are exploited to promote a less well known performer, Marie Cord.

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