Lya, Lady Abdy (Primary Title)

Man Ray, American, 1890 - 1976 (Artist)

Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 6 11/16 × 8 15/16 in. (16.99 × 22.7 cm)

Lya, Lady Abdy (1897–1993) was born Lya Grigorievna de Gay in Saint Petersburg, then the capital of the Russian Empire. A member of the Russian nobility whose family escaped to Finland after the 1917 Revolution, she married the English shipping magnate Sir Robert Henry Edward Abdy, 5th Baronet of Albyns, on June 23, 1923. The marriage lasted just five years, but she kept the formal name of Lady Abdy after their divorce in 1928. Lady Abdy achieved international fame in the 1920s and 1930s as a statuesque fashion model, extravagant patron of the arts, and flamboyant stage and movie actress, whose film roles included the 1934 British hospital drama Irish Hearts, released in the United States as Norah O’Neale. Standing well over six feet tall and strikingly beautiful, with modern, short bobbed blonde hair with a severe center parting, Lady Abdy was well suited to the glamorous worlds of cinema and fashion.

Signed in graphite in lower right corner of image: "Man/Ray/Paris". Signed in graphite below sheet right on mount: "Man Ray Paris".
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
Man Ray: The Paris Years, VMFA, October 30, 2021 – February 21, 2022

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