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What becomes a legend most?

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)

  • Date:

    1978 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    American Legend Cooperative (ALC) (issued by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Offset lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3G, shelf DR5

The American company Blackglama is known for its distinctive black mink coats. For over two decades, the brand has been promoted by links with Hollywood actresses, and with models. Artistes such as Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, and more recently, Gisele Bündchen, Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson, have featured in the advertising campaign, appearing in one of the ubiquitous coats alongside the slogan, 'What becomes a legend most? Blackglama', thus associating the product with fantasy and an idea timeless glamour. This poster features the stage and screen actress Helen Hayes, best known for playing the title role in Laurence Housman's play 'Victoria Regina', and for playing the lead in the1931 film, 'The Sin of Madelon Claudet', for which she won an Oscar for best actress.

Physical description

Black and white image, half-length, of an elderly woman, Helen Hayes, wearing a black mink coat, with the inscription, 'What becomes a legend most?' above and at the bottom, 'Blackglama'.

Place of Origin

United States (made)


1978 (made)


American Legend Cooperative (ALC) (issued by)

Materials and Techniques

Offset lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

'What becomes a legend most? / Blackglama'
Advertising slogan and brand name


Height: 70.6 cm, Width: 55.2 cm

Descriptive line

"What Becomes a Legend Most?" (Helen Hayes), ad campaign for Blackglama mink coats, USA, 1978


Paper; Printing ink

Subjects depicted

Costume; Celebrity; Fur; Glamour; Coats; Women; Actresses


Prints; Advertising; Fashion; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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