Opinion  May 1, 2024  Carlota Gamboa

Artist Tamara de Lempicka-Inspired Musical Nominated For Tony Awards

Tamara de Lempicka, 1923.

"Perspective", 1923. Painting by Tamara de Lempicka.

Once known for her stylized portraits of the wealthy and famous, a musical about the life of Polish Art Deco painter, Lempicka, has secured three nominations since premiering on Broadway early last month. Written by Carson Kreitzer and Matt Gould, the show follows Tamara de Lempicka as she flees the Russian Revolution to Paris with her husband, Tadeusz, and their daughter, Kizette. When Tadeusz is unable to find suitable work despite having been a prominent lawyer in Saint Petersburg, Tamara takes up painting to support her family. The actress who portrays Tamara, Eden Espinosa, has been nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, while the actress who plays her secret lover Rafaela, Amber Iman, has been nominated for Best Actress in a Featured Role. 


Espinosa, who has also played parts in the cast of Wicked and Rent, received her first Tony nomination in this role. As per a statement she made to Artnet News, “To be a part of this show is thrilling. We are all exhausted beyond comprehension, but we just love the ride… I don’t take it for granted.” Stage designers Riccardo Hernández and Peter Nigrini have also been nominated for Best Scenic Design of a Musical. 

Wikimedia Commons, Karel Frydrýšek.

Photograph of Tamara de Lempicka at The National Museum in Kraków. License

In 1925, after showing her work in the Paris salons, Lempicka found recognition during the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, which later gave name to the style of Art Deco. Her work, which combined subtle cubism with neoclassical details, was mentioned in Harper’s Bazaar and other contemporary fashion magazines. Her first major exposition was organized that same year in Milan, and her portraits of family, friends, and commissioned aristocrats would go on to be shown alongside the work of Georgia O'Keeffe, Santiago Martínez Delgado, and Willem de Kooning.

About the Author

Carlota Gamboa

Carlota Gamboa is an art writer based in Los Angeles.

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