Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[Charlie Chaplin and Vaslav Nijinsky on the Set of Easy Street, December 1916]

Gelatin silver print
11.2 x 16.4 cm (4 7/16 x 6 7/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
Not on view
Charlie Chaplin made Easy Street after signing a contract with the Mutual Film Corporation that allowed him a great deal of artistic freedom and a high salary, and in 1916 he made a number of short films in addition to Easy Street, such as The Cure and The Floorwalker. His international fame skyrocketed during this period, and he solidified the character of the Tramp that he had been developing since his earliest film performances. Nineteen sixteen was also the year that he met the Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, who performed in Los Angeles during an American tour. In this photograph, Chaplin wears his policeman costume from Easy Street, and his assistant Charles Riesner (back left) is also in costume. The photograph, essentially a snapshot celebrity portrait, suggests the level of media attention lavished on both stars, and its unknown maker vividly conveyed the sense of occasion that characterized their meeting.
Inscription: Inscribed in blue ink on print, verso UC: "Charly Chaplin w. Nijinski"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso LL, LR: "81.2.115", "8."
[Egidio Marzona, Düsseldorf, Germany]; [Prakapas Gallery, Bronxville, New York; sold to Waddell on March 7, 1981]; John C. Waddell, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 43," May 9, 2006–August 28, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ""Our Future Is In The Air": Photographs from the 1910s," November 10, 2010–April 10, 2011.

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