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Maker(s):Miller, Wayne F.
Culture:American (1918-2013)
Title:Chorus girls backstage at the Rum Boogie Club, from the series The Way of Life of the Northern Negro, Chicago
Date Made:ca. 1945 negative; 1999 print
Materials:Gelatin silver print
Place Made:North America; United States; Illinois; Chicago
Measurements:Mat: 20 in x 16 in; 50.8 cm x 40.6 cm; Sheet: 13 7/8 in x 11 in; 35.2 cm x 27.9 cm; Image: 10 1/16 in x 10 9/16 in; 25.6 cm x 26.8 cm
Narrative Inscription:  INSCRIPTION: verso, ctr. (pencil): Wayne Miller; STAMP: verso, ctr. (stamp and black ink): [copyright] Wayne F. Miller / Magnum Photos Inc.
Accession Number:  MH 2012.18.1
Credit Line:Purchase with funds given in memory of Joanne Hammerman Alter (Class of 1949) and the Art Acquisition Fund
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Chorus girls in performance outfits at backstage in front of vanity cabinet: one girl is in a black gown in the middle, another girl still in coat at the right; a mirrow stands at the background.

Label Text:
In the early 1940s Wayne Miller received a Guggenheim Fellowship to photograph the inhabitants of Chicago’s South Side, focusing on the neighborhood’s street life and work life in order to “document the things that make this human race of ours a family,” as he later wrote. He was especially drawn to entertainers and nightclubs, photographing luminaries like Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. Miller was also keen on the anonymous men and women who worked nightly at the jazz and blues clubs. In Chorus girls, for instance, we see the glitz and industry of this nightlife, and we also witness Miller’s ability to gain access to its least public realms.

-Anthony W. Lee, Idella Plimpton Kendall Professor of Art History, Mount Holyoke College (Sept. 2016)

women; working; performances; performing artists

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