ALBERTO VARGAS 1920s

1896 - 1982

After moving to the United States in 1916, a Peruvian born Alberto Vargas became the primary Ziegfeld artist in 1919. During this time, he was painting portraits of all the stars of each season's Broadway extravaganza. It was when Vargas developed the tone of his art: the idealized depiction of women, glorified but never vulgarized. Click on each image to enlarge. 

 

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A Peruvian-born artist Alberto Vargas moved to the United States in 1916. He was working as an artist in New York taking any jobs from retouching photo negatives to drawing dress patterns. In 1919 he was found and hired by Florenz Ziegfeld as a house artist of Ziegfeld Theatre. Florenz Ziegfeld gave Vargas a studio above his office at the New Amsterdam Theatre where Vargas created the posters and artwork for Ziegfeld's theatres for 13 years. After performances and rehearsals, the Ziegfeld Girls would come up to Vargas' studio and pose for him at no charge. Many of the Ziegfeld originals created by Vargas have been destroyed or damaged, and very few of them still exist. Florenz Ziegfeld was very fond of Vargas and nurtured him. He felt that Vargas' work captured the epitome of a beautiful Ziegfeld Girl.

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