Malcah Zeldis, Miss America Beauty Pageant, 1973, oil on masonite, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., 1998.84.66
Malcah Zeldis spent several years living on a kibbutz in Israel and gave herself the Hebrew name Malcah, which means "queen," when she was nineteen. After she returned to the United States, she began to paint satires of American rituals, including national holidays, funerals, and splashy weddings. Zeldis points up the contrast between the golden blondes who dominate this painting and the dark-haired, dark-skinned people around them. The meaning is unclear, but the image suggests that the artist was coming to terms with a culture very different from what she had known in Israel.
Miss America Beauty Pageant
- Not on view
48 x 40 in. (121.9 x 101.6 cm.)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr.
- Mediums Description
- oil on masonite
- Figure group
- Ceremony – other – beauty contest
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI