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WEAM celebrates Black History Month with Josephine Baker Tribute

World Erotic Art Museum Owner Naomi Wilzig with an example of a Josephine Baker poster from her collection. The exhibit is in honor of Black History Month.
Charlotte Libov

World Erotic Art Museum Owner Naomi Wilzig pays tribute to the legendary entertainer and humanitarian Josephine Baker with a major exhibit at her world-famous World Erotic Art Museum.

Wilzig is a longtime admirer of Baker, who not only wowed audiences with her legendary "Banana Dance" at the Paris Follies Bergere, but also went on to become a pioneer in equal rights and a humanitarian who tried to save children throughout the world.

Baker experienced a dismal childhood as she experienced racial bigotry and segregation. After leaving New York in 1915 for Paris, she became an instant star who titillated audiences with her daring performances. Refusing to be categorized, though, she also joined the French Resistance and performed heroic deeds in defense of the allies during World War II.

"Josephine Baker risked her life for the French underground but she was also a powerful performer," Wilzig said of the legendary singer and dancer. Baker also loved children and adopted her own "Rainbow Tribe" of needy orphans decades before Angelina Jolie and other celebrities made such pursuits fashionable, Wilzig noted.

The exhibit includes Wilzig's large collection of rare Baker memorabilia, along with the screening of her most celebrated films "Zou Zou" (1934) and "Princess Tam Tam" (1935). A biographical film tracing her extraordinary life will also be continuously screened.

The Baker exhibit is complimented by the work of George Daniell, whose photographic exhibit was widely applauded during Art Basel and continues through the end of March.

The World Erotic Art Museum, which has received worldwide attention, contains 20 large rooms filled with erotic art from Prehistoric times to the present.

More info: WEAM

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