Mask of Anna Pavlova

Malvina Cornell Hoffman American

Not on view

Hoffman hosted an elaborate costume party at her studio for the prima ballerina Anna Pavlova’s (1881–1931) birthday. For the event, the stage designer Boris Anisfeld created an elaborate screen, modeled on a Russian icon, whose window opened at midnight to reveal Pavlova, her eyes closed, bedecked with a jeweled headdress and appearing as a Byzantine Madonna. After remaining still, the "icon" came to life, as Pavlova opened her eyes and smiled. Memorializing the event, Mask of Anna Pavlova is modeled in tinted wax. In choosing this incarnation for her subject, rather than one that portrays more of the lyrical dancer’s body, Hoffman reveals her worshipful attitude toward Pavlova.

Mask of Anna Pavlova, Malvina Cornell Hoffman (American, New York 1885–1966 New York), Wax, tinted

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