American Beauty

Walt Kuhn1934/1934

Chrysler Museum of Art

Chrysler Museum of Art

Intense colors complement the bold stare of this young dancer, suggesting the music and energy of a vaudeville show. Painter Walt Kuhn also worked as a theater producer and often used dancers, clowns, mimes, and acrobats as his artistic subjects. The heavy make-up on this woman’s face may tell a darker story about the worlds of art and show business: her body is a canvas, and, while dancing on stage to earn a living, our anonymous American Beauty hides her true identity beneath layers of bright cosmetic paint.


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  • Title: American Beauty
  • Creator: Walt Kuhn
  • Date: 1934/1934
  • Location Created: New York City, NY
  • Provenance: Estate of the Artist; Kennedy Galleries, New York; Coe Kerr Galleries, New York, 1974; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.; Bequest of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. to the Chrysler Museum, 1989.
  • Physical Dimensions: 33 1/4 x 65 1/2 in. (84.5 x 166.4 cm)
  • Credit Line: Bequest of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas


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