About the Work
Erté, considered by many as the father of Art Deco, often acknowledged that his love for theater was a great source of creativity and inspiration. Just like theater has two faces, comedy and tragedy, Erté was a flamboyant showman, as well as an introvErtéd genius who sometimes would prefer to be left alone. From a young age, he immersed himself in the world of opera, ballet, and theater. When he designed costumes and sets for theatrical productions, it was a lifelong desire that he was fulfilling.
"Broadway's in Fashion" is a tribute to the legendary Broadway from a man who pursued the theatrical in everything he did. In 1978, Erté was honored by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation at a gala celebration in New York entitled “Broadway’s in Fashion” for which Erté designed the poster. This led to CBS documentary narrated by the legendary Diana Vreeland and an exhibition of his costume designs at the Boston Center of the Arts.
This sculpture, with its black patina, white gold embellishment, and highly polished bronze highlights, incorporates the Clements for which Broadway is best known. Her elegant and confident posture reveals her costume which is itself homage to Broadway, The scarlet robe with gold tassels evokes the stage curtain as it rises to reveal the first act, the male and female dancers, energetically giving their all for each performance and the Greek masks of comedy and tragedy, the universal symbols of the theater. "Broadway's in Fashion" is a 24 x 15 x 6 - inch bronze sculpture.
About the Artist
Erté was born Romain de Tirtoff in St. Petersburg, Russia on November 23rd, 1892 and was raised amidst Russia's social elite. At the age of five he created an evening gown for his mother and managed to persuade the adults to craft it, they were astounded by the results. In 1912, Romain left St. Petersburg for Paris at the age of nineteen with the aim of becoming an artist. After working with Paul " Le Magnifique" Poiret on several theatrical productions Romain, still under the pseudonym of Erte, began to work more independently. He hand-crafted original costume and fashion designs for many of the era’s most renowned actresses, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova, Norma Shearer, and others. His masterpieces for the stage included extravagant production designs at venues such as New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris, and the Paris Opera. In 1915 he began his long professional relationship with Harper's Bazaar and created 240 covers for the esteemed magazine. For 6 months in 1916, Erté simultaneously worked with Vogue as well. As a result of his highly publicized success, Erté would later be called the father of the ‘Art Deco’ movement.