Heiress A’Lelia Walker was a well known socialite and muse during the epic Harlem Renaissance era. A’Lelia lived exquisitely. The daughter of Madame C.J. Walker A’Lelia was young Black wealth as the world had never known it before. She lived affluently and hosted parties at her villa on the Hudson River. Langston Hughes was quoted calling A’Lelia, “joy goddess.” With her opulent lifestyle of cars, clothes, and jewelry A’Lelia shined. 

An heiress with lavishly decorated homes, chauffeured cars, and star-studded music-filled soirees, she personified the spirit and flamboyance of the era. Always stylish, her blend of regal, statuesque African beauty and haute couture served as an inspiration to poets, painters, and novelists. Among those for whom she posed were photographers Berenice Abbott and Addison Scurlock and sculptors Richmond Barthé and Augusta Savage.

[Duke Journals]