Portrait of Ann Pennington
Hixon's portrait emphasizes Ann Pennington's (1893-1971) magnetic appeal and big stage presence, but the diminutive star was actually less than five feet tall. A mainstay of Broadway musical revues such as the Ziegfield Follies and George White's Scandals, Pennington became famous for her youthful, vibrant dance performances. Unlike many other white stars of the day, Pennington acknowledged the contributions of black performers like Freddie Taylor, who taught Pennington her signature dance, the Black Bottom Charleston. In this image, Pennington is garbed in a short-sleeved romper that sports ruffles at the sleeves and pantlegs. A sailor's collar ties at the front and her waist is cinched in with a matching fabric belt tied in a wide bow. Her long hair is secured in two loose plaits. Penning stands in a slightly stooped manner while holding her pantlegs as if they will get wet. She gazes at the camera as if slightly annoyed. Hixon has lit the scene to create a lovely vignette highlighting both Pennington's beauty AND talent.