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Josephine Baker and LA Revue Negre: Paul…

Josephine Baker and LA Revue Negre: Paul Colin's Lithographs of Le…

by Paul Colin

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0810927721, Paperback)

When graphic designer Paul Colin published a limited edition of lithographs he'd made of dancer Josephine Baker and her revue in Paris in 1927, the French fascination with American jazz musicians and dancers was at its peak--and the 500 hand-colored copies quickly sold out. The 45 lithographs collected under the title Le Tumulte Noir (the book's notes list uproar, frenzy, sensation, brouhaha, and craze among the possible translations for the word tumulte) include a dynamic sketch of Baker in her famous banana skirt, a chalklike drawing of a jazz band in full swing, a feather-bedecked woman dancing in the rain, an interracial flapper couple kicking up their heels, and other images that capture the joie de vivre of the era. Henry Louis Gates Jr. introduces this edition of the lithographs with an essay that reminds readers of the haven African Americans found in France at a time when overt racism and bigotry were rampant in the United States. He then maps the wild success the new musical form jazz, and its beloved interpreter Baker, achieved there. Colin's lithographs are faithfully reproduced in the same size and vertical orientation of the original edition with just the three colors he employed, the original title page, and Baker's own handwritten forward to the work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:19 -0400)

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