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Apollo Chorine
New York: , 1941. Colour lithograph (31 × 23 cm), mounted, framed and glazed. Slight mottling in the lower right-hand corner, else very good. Limited edition of 50, signed and numbered in pencil by the artist, this number 7. One of the illustrations from Hirschfeld and Saroyan's "Harlem as seen by Hirschfeld", this one of the high-quality lithographs printed with the intention of issuing a set of the plates in portfolio. The idea never came to fruition, but a number of the plates did make it onto the market. A splendid image of one of the Apollo Theater's famous "No.1" Chorus, so called because when they extended an open challenge to all the chorus-lines in town for a "dance-off", response came there none. In fact in the year that Hirschfeld's sassy image of a top-hatted danseuse was being printed, the chorus-line was laid off as a cost-cutting measure, times were tight, and the girls' notorious strike of the previous year probably did not help their case. So from 1941 the famous sign above the stage door at the Apollo, "Through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in Harlem" was redundant, as were the girls themselves. When Hirschfeld had joined the American artistic exodus to Paris in the 20s, he did so without the financial security possessed by so many of those bright, young things, and he supported himself by working as a tap-dancer in clubs. His work has always been noted for its informed affection for the performing arts, his personal engagement with dance is clearly evident here.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-06-17           Check availability:      Biblio    

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