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A Portrait of Joan

Joan as portrayed by herself and others



Part I: Joan the Artist     

 Part II: Art Inspired by Joan (during her lifetime and posthumously)



Part I: Joan the Artist


ABOVE:  Self-portrait, 1938.


BELOW: In 1948, Joan joined dozens of fellow celebrities to personally create a painting to benefit the Urban League. Below are three shots of her creating her piece and three with the finished work, followed by the painting itself, which is now part of the personal collection of Jennifer Sturcke. See also a 2011 article about the Urban League event on the Museum of the City of New York blog. The photographs of Joan were all taken by future director Stanley Kubrick, then a 20-year-old on assignment for Look magazine.


1948. Creating painting to benefit Urban League.     1948. Creating painting to benefit Urban League.     1948. Creating painting to benefit Urban League.





From the personal collection of Jennifer Sturcke.




Part II: Art Inspired by Joan


One indication of a true icon is the desire of artists, both contemporary and latter-day, to re-create her image. Joan Crawford began inspiring works of art almost immediately upon her arrival in Hollywood in the 1920s; since then interest in her, and her image, has not waned. Below is a sampling of works of art inspired by Joan Crawford, ranging from the 1920s to the present. (Move your pointer over a picture for more information. Click on a picture to see the larger image.)


During Joan's Lifetime          Posthumous



During Joan's Lifetime

1929 drawing by Joan's husband Doug Fairbanks, Jr.    1929. 'Hollywood Revue' by Al Hirschfeld.    1930. 'Montana Moon' by Al Hirschfeld.    Circa 1930. A mural by bandleader Xavier Cugat.

Circa 1930. By Moreno Valverde.    Caricature appearing in the February 1930 'New Movie' magazine.    1930 drawing by magazine artist John La Gatta. This piece appeared in 'New Movie.'    1930. Henry Clive on the set of 'Montana Moon.'    1930. On the set of 'Paid,' with Chilean artist Jorge Delano. With two versions of his Joan portrait.

1931 by Erik Guide Haupt. (Thanks to Gabriel Neilson.)    1931 by Time cover artist M.H. Herrin. Autographed by Joan.    1931 by pin-up artist Earl Steffa Moran.    1930s by pin-up artist R. Wilson Hammell.


1930s theater art on board, artist unknown.    2 examples of 1930s theater poster art by Norton Gaston. (Thanks to Rick.)    1930s Italian postcard, by Ninoza.


 1932 caricature for the Brown Derby by Eddie Vitch. Page includes photo of Vitch with Joan and Doug.    A caricature by Joe Grant displayed at Sardi's in the 1930s.    1932 caricature by Alex Gard, displayed at Sardi's in NYC.    Early '30s by MGM artist Bert Levy.

Bronze statue by Gilbert Riswold, 1931. (Thanks to Rick.)    From a medieval-style mural of Hollywood stars by Russian artist V. Ignatieff, commissioned by Paul Bern for his new wife Jean Harlow in 1932.    Unknown year, unknown artist. First listed on eBay in 2016.    Three oil paintings by Federico Beltran-Masses, 1932.

1932. Sketch from 'Dance, Fools, Dance' by Edith Roberta Leach.    Franchot Tone, Joan, Clark Gable. 1932 by Cecil Beaton.    1932 sketch by Joan's 'Grand Hotel' co-star Jean Hersholt.    1933. 'Dancing Lady' by Al Hirschfeld.    1933. 'Hollywood's Malibu Beach' by Miguel Covarrubias. (Thanks to Mike O.)

Mid-1930s, by William Reynolds. 9 x 12 inches, in pencil.    Circa 1934. A 'Star Snapshots' page by Bernard Baily.    Circa 1935 by Mexican artist Jesus Rodriguez Valero.    By Edward Biberman. Displayed in Joan's home for this 1937 magazine layout, actual year of painting unknown.

By James Montgomery Flagg for 'Photoplay.' '36-'38.    1930s movie magazine art by Henri Sabin.    1930s art for 'Modern Screen' magazine by Pat Eagan.


By Sergio Gargiulo. 1934, for MGM.    Mid-1930s original art for a screen magazine cover. (If you know which magazine's cover this appeared on, please let me know.)    1930s by Charles Gates Sheldon.    By Charles Gates Sheldon for April 1935 'Screenland' cover.

1938 by Henri Major.    1937 by Azadia Newman. Joan as 'Fay Cheyney' from 'The Last of Mrs. Cheyney.' Click to see color painting, as well as b/w shot of artist posting with painting.    1938 French art poster for MGM.

1938 caricature by Sotero.    1939 production sheets from Disney's 'The Autograph Hound' plus two final shots.


Circa 1940 (Joan and Fredric March from 'Susan and God') by Jose Rivas.    1941 sculpture of Joan by Yugoslavian artist Yucca Salamunich, inscribed 'To Christina.' Commissioned for 'A Woman's Face,' the sculpture made a reappearance in 1964's 'Strait-Jacket.' This page also includes 5 shots of the sculptor creating the work in 1941.    A cartoon from the 1942 book 'With a Hays Nonny Nonny' by Elliot Paul and art by Luis Quintanilla.    1940s German art poster for Warners.    1949 by Jack Lane. Displayed at the Brown Derby.


1950 sketch by illustrator Lenny De Carlo of San Francisco.    1950s sketch by 'Eve,' displayed at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel.    1951 by James Montgomery Flagg. One segment of a larger 7-movie-queen sketch.    1951 by Walter Edward Blythe.    1951 illustration by William Rose for 'The American Weekly' Sunday supplement (2/25/51).


1952, 1954, and 1955. Four caricatures by Al Hirschfeld.    1953. Joan as Jenny Stewart in 'Torch Song.' Appeared in UK's 'Punch.'    1950s by Ed McGeean.    1963. A 'Caretakers' cartoon by Al Hirschfeld.

 A 1962 sketch by Volpe commemorating Joan in 'Mildred Pierce.' Page includes info about the artist and the book in which this appeared.    Painting by Lucerne Robert, 1960. Appeared on the 1962 cover of 'Portrait of Joan.'  Also: The black-and-white press-release photo, June 29, 1962.    By Margaret Keane. Joan poses in front of this painting on the cover of her 1971 autobio 'My Way of Life.'    By Anthony de Frange. Click for a LOT of background on the painting, artist, and current owner.    1969. Painting by Jaroslav 'Jerry' Gebr from 'Night Gallery.' (Thanks to James Bruce.) Plus a photo of host Rod Serling with the painting.

Andy Warhol, 1962.    1960s New Yorker cartoon by Charles Addams.    Year unknown by Brian Davis.    Joan by... Bette Davis! Click to read full details.

 1964 pop art by James Rosenquist. Page includes the artist with the painting, and gallery displays.    1964. A personal gift from cartoonist Milton Caniff to Joan. Click to see larger version, plus a 1965 gift-sketch.    1960s. Lobby board by Joe Diloreto. Click for larger version, plus another board.    1972 by Don Addis for the St. Petersburg, Florida, Evening Independent.    1972 by Al Hirschfeld. Cukor's women, with Joan at upper right.

By Michael Vollbracht. His '70s portrait that hung in her Imperial House bedroom, and the back cover of his 1985 book.    1974 by Don Bachardy.    1974 by R. Clemons.    1970s by B. Morgen.    1976 by Adolfo Sanchez.


The above work from 1974 by Martin Kreloff was once owned by Joan herself.

Click to see this and other Joan pieces from Kreloff (from 1973 to 1990), which can now be ordered as prints.


Posthumous (post-1977)

1980 by Olivia De Berardinis.    1981. By R West for San Francisco's West Graphics.    1981. By actor Charles Busch. Pastel, 12 x 18 inches. Auctioned off on eBay, April 2006.    1982. Charcoal by Penny Alexander.    1983 by Andre Bouche. Pastel on paper, 20 x 16 inches.

1984 by Cecilio D'Acosta. (Crayon and pencil.)    1985 by Elsa Warnick.    1986 watercolor by Myles Antony.    Mid-1980s by Ted LeMaster. (Oil on wood, 36 x 30.)    Three oil paintings from 1987 by NYC artist David Starr.

Greeting card caricature by Brad Marshall (concept by T.J. Edwards) for TNT Designs, Inc. Year unknown.    By Richard Beckerman for 'Texas Monthly.' Date unknown.    1986 by Tom Hactman. Mad Magazine.    December 13, 1987, by Amanda Stegelson.

Year unknown. By Demetrie Kabbaz.  See for more info.    By Mick Brownfield, Portal Publications. (Thanks to Charles Triplett for this photo.)    By Franck de la Mercedes. Year unknown. Acrylic, 18 x 24 inches.    By Franck de la Mercedes. Acrylic, 18 x 24.    Year unknown. By Leonie Van Schagen.

A 1992 chair by Elaine Bannett.    2004 by D. K. Stone. 24 x 24, acrylic. See for more info.    Mixed media, by Mr. Frumpy. Year unknown.    21st century Joan computer art by LuLu. Click on this picture to see a larger version, plus 10 other works from the series, ranging from Joan's MGM years through her Grand Guignol period. Thanks to Louis for contributing his work.    Computer-generated art by Peter J. Swanson. Click to go to page with more Swanson works and link to his site.

Year unknown. By Tarantola, 40 x 30 inches. See for more info.    1990. 'Woman (Joan Crawford)' by Sylvester Stallone.

Year unknown. By Bounsay Pipathsouk. 36 x 52 inches.    By Braff. Pencil, 11 x 14.    By Braff, year unknown. 11 x 14, in pencil.    Two 30 x 40 graphite drawings by Jay DePalma. Late '90s/early '00s.    30 x 40 inch pastel by Jay DePalma. Circa late '90s/early '00s.

2003. By Leslie Penn.  Visit Penn's eBay store for more of her works:    Pastel on photograph, 8 x 11. By Leslie Penn, 2004.    2005 by Leslie Penn.    Pastel, November 2005. By Orlena Onstott.  Visit for more info on and work by the artist.

By Sherry Baker. Acrylic, 10 x 12.    By Adam.    By Brad Fraser, 1989. Acrylic.

By Jim Dale and Pat DuPaul. Mixed media (satin hair, silver lame dress material). 21 x 17 inches. Click on photo to go to page with larger shot, and another Joan from the 'Ol Softies' collection.    'Joanah' by Karen Whitehill.  Found on the now-defunct site.    'Wrestling the Angel' by Karen Whitehill. From the now-defunct website

'Joan Crawford's Bedroom.' 22 x 28 etching by Bruce McCombs.    'Rippled Joan' by Walter Pacheco, 2009.

  'Joan Early 1940s' by Anthony Watson. Click to see his entire gallery of Joan paintings, and for more info re purchasing and his website.     3 pastel/pencil artworks by Pablito Matito.     Pencil drawing by Dave Borgesen of Winnipeg. Click to see larger image and to get link for Dave's website.

By Matt Burcaw.     2003 'Early Joan' by Pamela Farmer.     A beaded Joan brooch by Sherri Leeder.     German artist Michael Richter's individual screen shots that make up his 'Joan Crawford: Drawing Icons' video.

Caricature by H. Pierre Montiel. Year unknown.     Year unknown, by H. Pierre Montiel.


2004: Travels with Myra Hudson, by Dawn Clements.     2005. 'Joan Crawford on Fire...' by Nan Goldin.


Donald Urquhart, 2007. 'A Joan Crawford Alphabet.'    By Amanda Dolan from her 2008 Soho show, 'Call Me Crazy,' which featured works about 15 controversial women.


Spray-painted street art in Santiago, Chile, and computer art by GARG.    2012 special 'Leaf' series by 'celebrity sports artist' Kevin-John.    2010 by Christopher Gustave.    Two watercolors by K. Godfrey for the 'Art Card Editions and Originals' series. 2010s.


 Circa 2012 by Paul Belsito. Pastel, 16 x 20 in.    2011. 'A Woman's Face.' By V. T. Abdala.


2011 by Tennessee Loveless.    5 pieces by Roberta Marrero, 2000-2013.    2013 watercolor and ink by L. Lovenstein.    2013 by Arne Hansen.


2011 by Zach Bellissimo. 'The Unknown' with Lon Chaney.    2015 by Kosmas. 'The Unknown' with Lon Chaney. Pencil, 8 x 10.


2010s. Three cartoons by Gary Smith.    Various Joan-related works by Raymond Pettibon from 1994 to present.    2013 by Seymour Chwast.    2013. Two erotic drawings by Italian 'spanking artist' Lumasoc. (Don't click if you're shy, prudish, or under 18!)


2013 by David Lee Guss.    2013 by Tonie Cook. 'Coffee with Joan Crawford No. 1.'    2013. 'Lucy Harbin' by LuxBlack,    Circa 2014 by Silverbullet56 at


 2015 'Joan Crawford Tribute' from the Photoshop contest site.    2016 by Ginette Callaway.    Circa 2015 by Johnny O'Brady.    2016. Two works by Ashley Lily Scarlett.    2017 illustration by Adam Osgood.

From the 2019 Duane Michals show at NYC's DC Moore Gallery.



Legal Note: Per the Fair Use clause of Section 107 of the amended Copyright Act of 1976 (17 USC Section 107), images on this site are intended solely for non-profit educational purposes, to provide researchers and general readers with information about Joan Crawford's life and career. Sources for photos of artworks have been credited when known. If you're the owner of any unintentionally uncredited information, or an artist who'd like your Joan Crawford image presented here, please e-mail me.


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