Anton BRUEHL | Lady pondering her future (Tamara Toumanova)

Australia 1900 – United States of America 1982
United States from 1919

Lady pondering her future (Tamara Toumanova) 1944
dye-transfer colour photograph
Recto, signed in pencil, lower right, 'Anton Bruehl'.
image 35.5 (h) x 27.8 (w) cm
Gift of American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia, Inc., New York, NY, USA, made possible with the generous support of Anton Bruehl Jr, 2006.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2006.118


In 1932 George Balanchine saw a thirteen-year-old Tamara Toumanova at a ballet class in Paris where she was studying with Olga Preobrajenska and engaged her as a founding member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. One of the three ‘baby ballerinas’, she danced with the company in Australia in 1939–40 (where she was photographed by Max Dupain) and later in the United States, where her dark beauty led British critic Arnold Haskell to call her the ‘black pearl of Russian ballet’. During the 1944–45 season she performed with the Ballet Theater, now American Ballet Theater. Many ballets were created for her by Léonide Massine, Serge Lifar and Balanchine. One of the most glamorous stars of twentieth-century dance, she also appeared in many films including Days of Glory with Gregory Peck in 1944, Tonight we sing as Anna Pavlova in 1953, and in the 1966 Hitchcock film Torn Curtain.

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