Saturday, March 10, 2012

la femmes de man ray - ady (adrienne fidelin)

ca. 1937

la mode au congo, harper's bazaar, 1937

man ray & adrienne fidelin


ca. 1937

ca. mid to late 1930s

ady, marie & paul cuttoli, pablo picasso, dora maar & man ray summering in antibes.

in 1936 adrienne fidelin, a young dancer from guadeloupe met man ray in paris. she was in her mid 20s & he was 46. she became his lover, muse & model - not much more than that is known about their meeting, the details of her life or what happened to her after her affair with man ray ended.

she was welcomed by man ray's group of friends & socialized & vacationed with the likes of pablo picasso, dora maar, paul éluard & his wife nusch, max ernst & lee miller & husband roland penrose.

in 1937 man ray photographed ady for harper's bazaar. (william randolph hearst, bazaar's publisher, prohibited photographs of blacks in the magazine - not uncommon for the time.) the photos were inspired by an exhibtion of headdresses from the belgian congo that man ray had seen at the galerie charles ratton in paris earlier that spring. four pictures were selected for the 2 page spread, headlined "the bushongo of africa sends his hats to paris. 3 images of white women, along with text by paul éluard were on the left. on the right the entire page was of fidelin. 

fidelin & man ray parted in 1940 when he fled france for the states during the nazi occupation while she chose to remain in paris to care for her family.  she later married, & the last thing on record is that she was dancing at a "negro" club on the champs-élysée.


  1. SImply wonderful post, I love his Fifty Faces of Juliet too, one of my all time favorite books.

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