Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little White Sheet Lies

1. This is not really burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee's favorite 'nite' spot. Because:

2. A cotton sheet is not comparable to a night club. For one thing, it'll get crowded on that bed and someone's bound to fall off - probably the piano player, for one. Plus someone always spills a tray of drinks, don't they, in the course of an evening. And then Gypsy will be doing the laundry all night.

3. In which case, advertising wash powder would have made more sense.

4. Miss Lee was not a "prominent hostess of New York and Paris." No, you just can't say that! She was not the low-rent version of Babe Paley.

5. And she was not an "aristocrat" either.

6. Miss Lee "has never felt it necessary to mingle with cafe society." But she does like "international society." Miss Lee was too busy performing her burlesque act to mingle with the 400, I suppose.

7. And finally: prominent society dames do NOT have Big Eyed Mona Lisas on the wall!* They just don't. Please, Miss Lee, get that terrible thing down off the wall. No one is going to sleep well with it looking at them - I don't care what kind of high society sheets you've got there.

Ironically enough, the Wikipedia article I linked to at the top (oh, and here too) says that Lee was known for her art collection and that many famous artists gave her their paintings. She had works by Picasso and Chagall, for example. Perhaps they were all out being - dry-cleaned or something, when this picture was taken. Because I am thinking that that is not a Picasso.

Advertisement from True magazine (which was aimed at guys), February 1954.


Tori Lennox said...

I thought that picture of the Mona Lisa had her wearing sunglasses. *g*

Eric said...

I like the idea of a nite spot with art on the walls. Just not that art, and a nite spot with less frilly girly bedcovers.

tstreasures said...

That is really interesting that they used her as their "spokesperson". I guess people were a bit more gullible (or naive) back then...lol.

Jason said...

Hey great site!

I was wondering if you wanted to exchange links with us. Let me know if this is possible.



Leeuna said...

That's NOT a Picasso??? Such a brilliant copy. I would have been easily fooled by it. Plus, I would smother to death in all the lace and cotton on that bed!

Shay said...

Perhaps both the copywriter and the stylist had their tongues firmly in cheek?

Hairball said...

I'm reminded of an old adage about how wives should behave in different rooms of their homes after seeing Gypsy Rose Lee hawking bedsheets. *blushes*

Lidian said...

Tori - I'll bet she has that version too.

Eric - It does sound fun! :)

tstreasures - They might well have been!

Jason - I will come visit your site ASAP, OK?

Leeuna - Yes, I am sure it is from that famous collection of hers, but the artist is a little hard to identify.

Shay - I'll bet they did and the cotton mill people did not.

Hairball - Yes indeed, there's a subtext to this that I'm sure, like Shay points out, that the cotton people may not have been totally aware of...But the copywriters? Very likely! :)

beth said...

Is that an original Keane big-eyed Mona? If so, then it is art of the highest caliber!

Wonderful post - you are hilarious!

Bill said...

Oh, come on, Lidian!
Babe Paley, Slim Keith, Happy Rockafeller, and Gypsy Rose Lee; all cut from the same cloth.

That Big-Eyed Mona is enchanting! It should be paired with a Big-Eyed Alley Kitten posed next to a trashcan. The room would appear more balanced.

Lidian said...

beth - I knew Gypsy was really a connaisseur! :)

Bill - You are right, she needs more Big Eyes pieces on the walls, and they can all stare reporachfully at the guest trying to sleep. That'll be good.