There has been lots of backstage activity happening to make ‘Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre’ a spectacular exhibition for everyone. One of these is gathering personal items to shine a spotlight on the impresarios, dancers, singers and muses that inspired this golden age of the poster.
A private collector is kindly lending the Gallery a vast collection of memorabilia including letters from the stars of the time, sketches, fashion accessories and rare books. These unique items bring out the back stories and personalities of the women featured in the posters, whose lives so often amounted to a triumph over adversity. Amongst the treasures are an autograph Lautrec letter and a Louis Vuitton travel trunk used by Yvette Guilbert.
Another star item on display, will be a pair of striking printed kid-leather gloves, ca. 1910s by Alexandrine & worn by star of the Moulin Rouge, Mistinguett. Mistinguett’s gloves are part of The Glove Collection of the Worshipful Company of Glovers of London, on loan to our sister-site the Fashion Museum.
Born Jeanne Bourgeois in 1875, Mistinguett was the star of the Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris in the early 1900s and the highest paid female entertainer in the world. Her risqué routines and popularity meant that her legs, apparently, were insured for 500,000 francs in 1919.Mistinguett went to Alexandrine, the leading French ‘gantier’, for her gloves. These shoulder-length gloves are printed with a grey mottled or camouflage effect, with scalloped edge. Très chic!
You will be able to explore these objects and the stars linked to them when the exhibition opens next year from 15th February 2020 until 26th May 2020. Thank you for making this happen.