The House That Josephine Built

And other images

Very soon — on Saturday, August 19, to be exact — two of the Josephine Baker-related exhibits close at the Sheldon Art Galleries (3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900 or An American in Europe: Modernist Photographs from the Baroness Jeane von Oppenheim and Chez Josephine: The Adolf Loos House and Les Milandes. The 35 modernist photographs are here courtesy of the Norton Museum of Art in Florida, and these images, taken by several European photographers in the 1920s and '30s, help to show the cultural and creative climate that surrounded Josephine Baker. New Bridge over the Rhine River at Duisberg by Dr. Paul Wolff is striking for its starkness, its contrast — its clear distinction between black and white in a way mimics Baker's life in an America pre-civil rights movement. In a similar fashion, the home that modern architect Adolf Loos designed for the performer speaks volumes about her as well. Though never built, the residence's plans call for evenly spaced, horizontal stripes of black and white marble to serve as the exterior, with neither color dominating nor ill-represented; in other words, there's a comforting equality to the design. See it for yourself, alongside plans for Les Milandes, the home that Baker lived in for nearly 30 years with her twelve adopted multiracial children.

The galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday, and hours vary. Admission is free.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: July 14. Continues through Aug. 19

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