Portrait of Al Jolson with Smile

Portrait of Al Jolson with a Smile
Inventory
Collection Number: 
17552
Building: 
Current Location: 
Storage Room 303
Floor: 
Lower Level/Vault
Object Description
Artist: 
Artist Dates: 
1884-1982
Artist Nationality: 
American
Object Type: 
Details: 
This is a sepia-toned reproduction photograph print of Al Jolson with a slight smile.
Framed: 
Yes
 - Glass
Length: 
25 inches
Width: 
1 inches
Height: 
31 inches
Description: 

Al Jolson was called the greatest entertainer of his era. He was born in Imperial Russia and traveled to America with his family. He and his brother learned ragtime songs and performed in the streets. They were determined to break into show business. Assuming a common trend of the time, Al started performing in blackface in 1904. In it his performances grew more expressive; he danced, stamped, cried real tears, improvised risqué jokes, and outrageous physical gags—even sashayed about with wildly effeminate gestures. With the film version of The Jazz Singer, Al turned himself from a Broadway icon into a silver screen fixture in a series of 1930’s movie musicals. He extended his career by becoming a popular recording star and the singing host of radio shows. His career capped in the late 1940s with a movie musical based on his life called The Al Jolson Story and Jolson Sings Again. He is pictured here sitting forward on his elbows and looking intently at the camera. Softness in his face suggests a smile.

Reproduce the Work in Library publications/publicity, including film or videotape: 
Yes
Make slides or videotapes for educational use: 
Yes
Permit the general public to photograph the work : 
Yes