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Lena Horne

Lena Horne
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Edward Biberman, 23 Oct 1904 - 27 Jan 1986
Sitter
Lena Calhoun Horne, 30 Jun 1917 - 9 May 2010
Date
1947
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 129.5 x 78.7 x 2.5cm (51 x 31 x 1")
Frame: 146.1 x 95.3 x 5.1cm (57 1/2 x 37 1/2 x 2")
Topic
Costume\Jewelry\Necklace
Costume\Jewelry\Earring
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Costume\Dress Accessory\Flower\Corsage
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
Place
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© 1947 Edward Biberman
Object number
NPG.85.2
Exhibition Label
Born Brooklyn, New York
Singer and actress Lena Horne helped break the color barrier in mainstream popular culture in the mid-twentieth century, beginning her stage career in the chorus at Harlem’s Cotton Club in 1933, where Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway mentored her. In 1942 Hollywood beckoned, but her roles were often musical cameos that southern theaters could cut; Horne once said that Stormy Weather and Cabin in the Sky were the only films “in which I played a character who was involved in the plot.” She became Hollywood’s highest-paid African American actor, and her renditions of “Stormy Weather” and “Just One of Those Things” were considered classics. During this time, Horne also became a vocal spokesperson for civil rights. She also continued to enjoy a successful nightclub and recording career, and triumphed in the 1980s with her one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music.
Provenance
The artist; purchased 1985 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
Bravo!
On View
NPG, South Gallery 321 Mezzanine