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Catalog Data

Created by:
Lemuel Ayers, American, 1915 - 1955  Search this
Subject of:
Pearl Bailey, American, 1918 - 1990  Search this
watercolor, graphite and ink on paper with cloth and metal staples
H x W: 12 1/8 x 9 9/16 in. (30.8 x 24.3 cm)
design drawings
Place used:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
A watercolor sketch by Lemuel Ayers of a costume for the musical "St. Louis Woman", as performed in 1946. This costume is for the character "Butterfly" performed by Pearl Bailey. At the center of the sheet of paper is a light sketch in pencil painted over in watercolor of a woman wearing a patterned, light green dress with a pink bouse and green puff sleeves with dark green bows at the shoulders and cuffs, a bow with a long sash at the waist, a hat with a bow, and a veil. At the upper left hand corner, in ink, is handwritten [Sk # 73]. At the upper right hand corner of the paper is a drawing, not overpainted, showing the back view of the dress. Behind the figure of the woman are some lightly painted lines indicating a wall and floorboards. Stapled to the lower right hand corner of the paper is a small piece of paper with handwriting at the top, in ink: [Bailey Sk 73/ Butterfly]. Below this, four (4) swatches of pink, green, yellow and gray fabric are stapled and/or glued. Next to the swatches are notes, handwritten in ink, indicating where in the costume each fabric is used. Below the attached piece of paper, hand painted, is the text: [Butterfly./ Funeral]. At the bottom left corner, handwritten in graphite, is: [Pearl Bailey]. At the bottom right corner is a paper watermark. The verso of the sketch is covered in text. At the top is [# 73 - ], and below are instructions as to how many yards are needed of each type of fabric. The sketch is unsigned. On the verso, the paper is stamped at the lower right corner with a United Scenic Artists stamp.
African American  Search this
Art  Search this
Costume design  Search this
Design  Search this
Musical Theatre  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design
Musical Crossroads
On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 053
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture