Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image @ Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

Jun 16, 2017 - Apr 15, 2018 | Washington, DC

Marlene Dietrich in "Seven Sinners" by John Engstead, Gelatin silver print, 1940 Enlarge image Marlene Dietrich in "Seven Sinners" by John Engstead, Gelatin silver print, 1940 (© Photograph by John Engstead, Deutsche Kinemathek - Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin) “Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image” is the first exhibition to showcase the life and influence of Marlene Dietrich.

Dietrich brought androgyny to the silver screen through her roles in movies such as Morocco (1930), Shanghai Express (1932) and Seven Sinners (1940).

The biggest Hollywood star at a time when “talkies” were still new, Dietrich challenged strictly limited notions of femininity through her lifestyle and fashion.

She once stated, “I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.” Relying on her good looks, striking voice and sense of humor, Dietrich achieved international fame during her long career.

The exhibition features more than 45 objects, including photographs, correspondence and film clips. Dietrich’s many honors include the Medal of Freedom for her service entertaining American troops for 18 months during World War II, often on the front lines.

The German-born star, who became an American citizen, remains a symbol of anti-Nazism, a fashion icon and an influential figure of the LGBT community.

Portrait Gallery historian Kate C. Lemay is the curator of this exhibition.

Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image was organized in cooperation with Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin.

Exhibition

“Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image”

June 16, 2017, through April 15, 2018

Where

Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

Eighth and F streets N.W.

Events:

Curator Tour: “Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image”

When    Sunday, June 25, 2017, 3 – 4 pm
Venue    Portrait Gallery
Event Location    “Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image” exhibition entrance
Cost    Free

Join Portrait Gallery Historian and Curator Kate Lemay to explore the special exhibition “Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image.”

Meet at the exhibition entrance near the “Jo Davidson” gallery space, second floor north.

A Mingle With Marlene

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 6:45 pm to 8:45 pm

You can mingle with Marlene (in photos and film clips) during an evening in the stylish spirit of the ’30s and ’40s. Portrait Gallery historian and exhibit curator Kate Lemay discusses the star and her career, covering topics from her pioneering androgynous style (wearing pants almost got her arrested in Paris in 1933) to her front-line performances for American soldiers in Europe during WW II to how she challenged her era’s limited notions of femininity through her lifestyle and fashion. Afterward, join Lemay in the exhibit, where she shares more of her research, insights, and background on the making of the retrospective. You may want to dress in cinematic black and white in Marlene’s honor.