Music Video

Who was Celia Cruz?

June 2016

Marvett Perez (1961-2013) discusses who was Celia Cruz and presents objects held in our collections.

Smithsonian Artifact Featured in this Video

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Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Date made
ca 1992
ID Number
1997.0291.02
accession number
1997.0291
catalog number
1997.0291.02
Location
Currently not on view
Credit Line
Gift of Celia Cruz
Associated Name
Cruz, Celia
Physical Description
vinyl; leather; rubber (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 17 cm x 9 cm x 22 cm; 6 11/16 in x 3 9/16 in x 8 11/16 in
overall: 6 5/8 in x 3 1/4 in x 9 in; 16.8275 cm x 8.255 cm x 22.86 cm
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Object Name
shoes, pair of
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Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Cultures & Communities
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
Date made
ca 1992
date made
1973-1987
ID Number
1997.0291.01
accession number
1997.0291
Description
This is a Bata Cubana, or Cuban Rumba dress, donated to the Smithsonian by Celia Cruz, the great Cuban salsa singer in 1997. An adaptation of the traditional Cuban rumba dress, it was made in the United States by Cuban-born designer José Arteaga. The Bata Cubana has its roots in the 19th century, with origins as diverse as the multicultural makeup of the people of Cuba. It brings together influences from Spanish, French, and African culture and dress, combining theater, fiesta, and the spectacle of carnival with slave and gypsy dress. The Bata Cubana is a garment worn for performance on stage or cabaret. Celia Cruz's Bata Cubana is made of orange polyester satin, trimmed with white nylon eyelet along ruffle-edges and eyelet beading along seams with inserted orange ribbon. The Bata Cubana was Celia's preferred performance costume.
Location
Currently not on view
Credit Line
Gift of Celia Cruz
Associated Name
Cruz, Celia
designer
Arteaga, Enrique
Place Made
United States
Physical Description
red (overall color)
polyester (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 55 in x 50 in x 93 in; 139.7 cm x 127 cm x 236.22 cm
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Object Name
dress
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National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Clothing-Historical
Exhibition
Musical Crossroads
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 053
Date
1970s
Object number
2013.8
Description
Red, gold, and blue sequin dress designed with horizontal, varied stripes and large open sleeves.
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Celia Cruz Knight Estate
Created by
José Enrique Arteaga, Cuban American
Worn by
Celia Cruz, Cuban American, 1925 - 2003
Topic
African American
Clothing and dress
Fashion
Salsa (Music)
Singers (Musicians)
Medium
sequin
Dimensions
L x W: 53 1/4 x 48 1/2 in. (135.3 x 123.2 cm)
Waist: 20 in. (50.8 cm)
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Type
dresses
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