Helen Hayes, First Lady of the Theater by Phlippe Halman

Helen Hayes, First Lady of the Theater by Phlippe Halman

500.00

Helen Hayes Brown (October 10, 1900 - March 17, 1993) was an American actress whose career spanned almost 80 years. She eventually garnered the nickname "First Lady of the American Theatre" and was one of twelve people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award (an EGOT). Hayes also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, from President Ronald Reagan in 1986. In 1988, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts. The annual Helen Hayes Awards, which have recognized excellence in professional theatre in the greater Washington, D.C. area since 1984, are her namesake. In 1955 the former Fulton Theatre on 46th Street in New York City's Broadway Theater District was renamed the Helen Hayes Theatre. When that venue was torn down in 1982, the nearby Little Theatre was renamed in her honor. This print measures 14 x 11. Halsman's stamp on the reverse, plus title, date and working notes in pencil.

Philippe Halsman (1906 - 1979) was a Latvian-born American portrait photographer. Born to a Jewish family in Riga, Halsman studied electrical engineering in Dresden. In 1930 Halsman relocated to Paris and began his career as a portrait photographer. In 1932 he opened his first studio and merely two years later his work began appearing in magazines such as Vogue. Halsman had his first success in America when the cosmetics firm Elizabeth Arden used his image of model Constance Ford against the American flag in an advertising campaign for "Victory Red" lipstick. A year later in 1942 he found work with Life, photographing hat designs.

In 1941 Halsman met the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and they began to collaborate in the late 1940s. In 1947, he made what was to become one of his most famous photos of a mournful Albert Einstein, who during the photography session recounted his regrets about his role in the United States pursuing the atomic bomb.

In 1951 Halsman was commissioned by NBC to photograph various popular comedians of the time including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Groucho Marx, and Bob Hope. While photographing the comedians doing their acts, he captured many of the comedians in mid air, which went on to inspire many later jump pictures of celebrities including the Ford family, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marilyn Monroe, María Félix and Richard Nixon.

Halsman commented, "When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears." The photographer developed a philosophy of jump photography, which he called jumpology. He published Philippe Halsman's Jump Book in 1959, which contained a tongue-in-cheek discussion of jumpology and 178 photographs of celebrity jumpers.

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