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Marlene Dietrich as Shanghai Lily, 1931–32; photo by Don English (Marlene Dietrich Collection, Berlin)
Marlene Dietrich was a legend: an icon of beauty and glamour whose appeal crossed all borders. Her career as a magnetic movie star and singer spanned more than half a century. In her films and record-breaking cabaret performances, Dietrich artfully projected cool sophistication, self-mockery, and infinite experience. Her sexuality was audacious, her wit was insolent, and her manner was ageless.
The Portrait Gallery’s Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image (opening June 16) celebrates her life and influence. A study of her long career, the exhibition embraces Dietrich for both her glamour and for her intelligence and strength.
You can mingle with Marlene (in photos and film clips) during an evening in the stylish spirit of the ’30s and ’40s. Portrait Gallery historian and exhibit curator Kate Lemay discusses the star and her career, covering topics from her pioneering androgynous style (wearing pants almost got her arrested in Paris in 1933) to her front-line performances for American soldiers in Europe during WII to how she challenged her era’s limited notions of femininity through her lifestyle and fashion. Afterward, join Lemay in the exhibit, where she shares more of her research, insights, and background on the making of the retrospective. You may want to dress in cinematic black and white in Marlene’s honor.
One drink ticket for a specialty cocktail or nonalcoholic beverage and light hors d’oeuvres is included with admission; a cash bar offers a specialty cocktail, wine, beer and nonalcoholic beverages; must be 21 years old with valid ID; not a seated event.
National Portrait Gallery
8th & G Sts NW, Washington, DC 20004
Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown