Le Tumulte Noir

Josephine Baker in banana skirt

Le Tumulte Noir: Paul Colin’s Jazz Age Portfolio.

In 1925, Josephine Baker (1906-1975) and the musicians and performers of her troupe, La Revue Nègre, exploded on the stage at Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with a wild new dance called the Charleston. The Jazz Age was at its height, and Baker was destined to become its high priestess.
Four years later, French poster artist Paul Colin (1892-1985), Baker’s one-time lover and life-long friend, published a portfolio of vividly colored lithographs titled “Le Tumulte Noir” (“The Black Craze”) which captured the exuberant jazz music and dance that dazzled Paris.

This year we celebrate her 100th anniversary. More about the fantastic Josephine at The Official Josephine Baker Website and Josephine Baker picture gallery. Note: some of her pictures are NSFW.

Upadate: Today I saw that PCL LinkDump posted about it too, few days ago. He also points to two links with works of Paul Colin (but the links aren’t available now).

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3 Responses to Le Tumulte Noir

  1. L says:

    she was really wonderful and photographed beautifully. I also love her singing J’ai Deux Amours, which I have on the soundtrack to Henry and June

  2. Bibi says:

    She was great!

  3. Fredda says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Bibi. I looked her up and found her wonderful and inspiring…. Here are some of her quotes I love (from her official website):
    “Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one’s soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood.”
    “I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely.”
    “Since I personified the savage on the stage, I tried to be as civilized as possible in daily life.”
    “We must change the system of education and instruction. Unfortunately, history has shown us that brotherhood must be learned, when it should be natural.”
    “I did take the blows [of life], but I took them with my chin up, in dignity, because I so profoundly love and respect humanity.”
    “You are on the eve of a complete victory. You can’t go wrong. The world is behind you.”
    – Josephine, speaking at the ’63 March on Washington
    “Salt and pepper. Just what it should be.”
    – Josephine, looking over the crowd at the 1963 March

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