Smithsonian Collections

Grace Jones

Image for Grace Jones
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Singer-performer Grace Jones firmly established her signature androgynous look with this iconic image advertising her 1981 Nightclubbing album and subsequent concerts. With her taut, slim body, gleaming dark skin, square-cut hair, and broad-shouldered masculine jacket with the plunging neckline, Jones satirized gender and racial stereotypes with a fashion-conscious theatricality that became part of her performance. The bold yellow background of the poster sets off the dark, gender-bending silhouette and underscores her sometimes confrontational style. Jones had been a successful model in Paris and then part of Andy Warhol's circle and the disco dance scene of New York. Her cross-dressing, use of the body, and sexualized performance all echo the complex exploitation and subversion of stereotypes by African American performer Josephine Baker in 1920s Paris. Jones's sleek, trend-setting look echoes the African-inspired geometric stylization of Baker's day, as well as the minimalist aesthetic of her own.
Unidentified Artist
Copy after
Jean-Paul Goude, born 8 Dec 1940
Grace Jones, born 19 May 1948
c. 1981
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Chisholm Larsson Gallery, New York City
Color photolithographic halftone poster
Sheet: 81.7 x 53.1cm (32 3/16 x 20 7/8")
Board: 86.4 x 58.4cm (34 x 23")
A to G Depth: 7/8"
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette
Grace Jones: Female
Grace Jones: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor
Grace Jones: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie