Art / Performance / Education
Madame Yna Majeska (Henriette Stern), artist, decorator, designer and book illustrator
served as a costume designer for both the Zeigfeld Follies, movie producer Cecil B. Demille and Irving Berlin’s Music Box.
Born in Philadelphia, she started in her youth as a dancer then turned to character art, receiving her professional training in Europe. She discovered that by changing her name and pretending to be European, she would get more work as an artist. Many of her drawings would be published in Vanity Fair magazine.
Mme Majeska also contributed vibrant, richly colored illustrations to a handful of novels in the 1920s and 1930s, many of which are centered on female characters and romantic intrigue. She was known for her illustrations of Pierre Louys works, Seven Gothic Tales (Addition 1010), Psyche and Tales of the Genji, as well as Sappho by Alphonse Daudet (Addition 750) and Painted Veils by James Huneker (Addition 1250) all of which are gorgeous examples of illustration bold in both style and subject matter.
Orthochromes, a rare folder collection of eight black-and-white prints showing women in both erotic and masculine dress. It was privately published by Vera Sundelson, New York circa 1930 in a limited edition of 1510 of which 1449 were issued (853/1510).