Icons of the Jazz Age: The Dolly Sisters

Thursday 10 November / 6–8pm



The delectable dancing Dollies – Hungarian born identical twins Jenny and Rosie – were stars of café society on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1920s. When they moved to America at the age of twelve they began making their living as entertainers. They were close friends of the elite of Broadway and Hollywood – including Mary Pickford and Irving Berlin – and became the essential prerequisite of any celebrity social gathering.

Their talent, their celebrity and their lavish loves and lifestyle enchanted generations and they became models for the ‘New Woman’ of the liberated 1920s. But lurking behind their glamorous story of fame, fortune, mistaken identity, millionaires, love and sisterly devotion is another tale of rivalry, duplicity and tragedy. The true story of the Dolly Sisters is Some like it Hot mixed with essence of Hello! - a dizzying cocktail of delight.

With a focus on their fashionable attire from such luminaries as Lucile, Poiret, Patou and Molyneaux, Gary Chapman will provide a fascinating glimpse of their ‘rags to riches’ story. The talk is accompanied by a stunning array of photographic images, including portraits by James Abbe, which reflect The Dolly Sisters status as Icons of the Jazz Age.

Gary Chapman is the author of The Dolly Sisters: Icons of the Jazz Age and London’s Hollywood: The Gainsborough Studio in the Silent Years. A marketing professional in the book industry for over 30 years, he established Edditt Publishing in 2012. Chapman has a large collection of Jazz Age ephemera focused on fashion, cabaret, silent film, music-hall, dance, theatre and costume design. His collection is represented by the Mary Evans Picture Library and he runs The Jazz Age Club website www.jazzageclub.com. He is currently working on a range of books about the 1920s including the first biography of the Jazz Age costume designer Dolly Tree.

The event starts at 6pm with a drink in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the exhibition Missoni Art Colour; the talk follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including the chance to ask questions, followed by a book signing.

Price £15 / £12 students includes a complimentary drink and exhibition entry.

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