The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Loie Fuller, 1862-1928

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1862
Place of Birth: Chicago
Date of Death: 1928
Place of Death:


Marie Louise ('Loie') Fuller was a dancer and choreographer.


Fuller made her debut on the stage at the age of two, reciting religious verse in her father's music hall. In the dance performances, for which she became famous at the Folies Bergère in Paris, she transformed herself into swirling, ethereal, organic shapes, such as flowers, birds, flames, moths and clouds, by using oversized silk costumes manipulated with hidden wands. She enhanced these dances with coloured and patterned lighting, which she projected onto herself for dramatic effect.

Fuller's experiments with colour wheels and slides were greatly admired by the chemists Pierre and Marie Curie. She herself was a member of the French Astronomical Society. She was also the subject of admiration by Yeats, Rodin, Stéphane Mallarmé, Toulouse-Lautrec and JW. She appeared in many Symbolist lithographs, etchings, watercolours, oils and sculptures. JW also made a number of drawings of her (see Loie Fuller dancing (M.1346)). In 1908 Fuller began her own dance school and company.

Bibliography:;, accessed 17.09.2003.