Curves Ahead: Burlesque Superstars Gypsy Rose Lee and Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese Costume Closeup Few burlesque performers achieve the national and even international spotlight to become true superstars. However the performers whose costumes make up this exhibition, Gypsy Rose Lee and Dita Von Teese, most certainly did.

Long before her first name lit up Broadway, Gypsy was already at the top of her field, known for her “high class” performances and lavish lifestyle.

Today, Dita Von Teese stands as an exemplar of glamour in a world gone casual, not only touring the world with her entourage of burlesque greats like Dirty Martini, Perle Noire and Jett Adore, but publishing books, appearing on television, promoting her own line of lingerie, and recording albums...

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Spectacular, Erotic, and Slightly Shocking: A Timeline of Burlesque in the United States

Image from Timeline of Burlesque HistoryWith roots in the tragicomedies of ancient Greece, American burlesque first emerged in 1860s. Driven by the industrial working class’ hunger for entertainment, an individualistic mindset at odds with the Victorian morality of turn-of-the-century America, the poverty of the Great Depression and the economic resurgence of World War II, burlesque endured while closely related art forms like vaudeville and minstrelsy faded from view. The Burlesque Hall of Fame’s permanent exhibition, Spectacular, Erotic, and Slightly Shocking: A Timeline of American Burlesque, explores the development of burlesque in America from the earliest flashes of tight-clad legs through the invention of the striptease and the ascendancy of burlesque stars to American folk heroes and ultimately to the decline of burles...

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