"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Friday, May 6, 2016

Katharine Hepburn

This 1982 portrait of Katherine Hepburn by Everett Raymond Kinstler hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Katharine Hepburn sported a stylized personality and headstrong independence that announced a new kind of female presence in Hollywood's heyday. She was an instant screen success, winning the first of her record four Best Actress Oscars in 1933 for Morning Glory and making such popular films as Little Women (1-933). But subsequent choices were poorly 'received by critics and audiences, and by 1938 she was labeled 'box-office poison.' The Philadelphia Story {l94E) revived, her career, and she never again faltered. She co-starred with Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen (1951), and partnered in nine films, with Spencer Tracy, winning an Oscar for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). She also won for The Lion in Winter (1967) and On Golden Pond (1981); her receipt of four Best Actress Oscars is a feat that remains unequaled today. This portrait by her friend Everett Raymond Kinstler was said to be her favorite."

The portrait hangs behind a case containing Katherine Hepburn's four Best Actress Oscar statuettes.

The shorter darker statuette on the left is for Morning Glory (1933). In 1945, the pedestal was raised and the metal changed from gold plated bronze to a pewter like alloy (called britannia) coated in 24-caret Gold. The next three statuettes are for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981). Hepburn lost her original Oscar for The Lion in Winter so this one is a replacement.

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