She’s been a catalog model, cigarette girl, Vegas cocktail waitress, New York theater actress and bit part player in an Oscar-winning movie.
But it was one photo session in the early 1950s that sealed Neva Gilbert’s claim to pop culture fame. The Lake Worth resident was one of Playboy magazine’s earliest centerfolds, Miss July 1954, a beautiful, long-legged blonde posed alluringly across a tiger skin rug.
“I’m the oldest living Playboy Playmate,” she proudly tells people.
But is she?
Find out, and see more photos of Gilbert then and now, in our story:
There’s quite an exhibit going on this month at the Norton Museum, but it’s not all inside the art institution.
Travel down South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach and you can watch construction crews tearing great hunks out of the museum: the first step to preparing for its $100 million expansion and renovation, scheduled to be completed two years from now in December 2018.
According to Norton spokesman Scott Benarde, these areas of the museum are being demolished: the inner atrium and stairs, the Harris Pavilion (former home of the Chihuly glass ceiling), the Great Hall entranceway, the cafe, and classroom and boardroom space.
Areas being gutted for renovation include the three-story Nessel Wing, the theater, great hall and museum gift shop.
Demolition should be completed by late December, Benarde said. In the meantime, admission continues to be free to the museum. And, despite the construction inconvenience, there is still a lot to see there, especially the Question Bridge video exhibit and the Rudin Prize photography show.
While many favorite paintings remain in storage, there are still plenty of famous names on the wall, inclusing Picasso, Matisse, O’Keeefe and Hopper.
But in Los Angeles in the 1980’s and ’90’s, Suzan Strauss was a street style star for the colorful outfits she designed, always worn with platform boots as high as horses’ hooves and a towering hat covering her hair.
The effect, said photographer Osker Jimenez, was to make her look seven feet tall as she glided slowly along Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, among the era’s pierced punks, dark goths and glam rock kids.
Fascinated with this self-assured, eccentrically-dressed woman, Jimenez photographed her for a decade, eventually publishing two books and staging a photo exhibition of his Strauss photos.