Another Black Dahlia Portrait? Harvard’s Fogg Museum Displays Two Man Ray Artworks-George Hodel portrait and Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short Lookalike


November 5, 2017
Los Angeles, California

Two original Man Ray artworks are currently on display at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum.

The first is a photograph taken by Man Ray of his good friend Dr. Hodel upon his return from China in September, 1946. Dr. Hodel is seen wearing his UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency) topcoat and while on billet to Hangkow, China had the honorary rank of “Lt. General.”

The second is a lithograph portrait of an unknown woman, drawn by Man Ray in 1970. The woman has a dark red Dahlia* flower in her hair and bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short. As I have previously established Elizabeth Short was acquainted with and dated George Hodel and most probably knew and posed for Hodel’s Hollywood resident and artist/friend ManRay in 1943 for his L’Equivoque painting. Compare Man Ray’s portrait to the known photograph of Elizabeth Short from 1946 and decide for yourself?  (I also find it curious that Man Ray has posed the woman with her hands completely covering her mouth. Could this be a subtle reference, as the surrealists were prone to do in their artwork,  to hide the fact that Elizabeth Short’s mouth was savagely lacerated from ear to ear, therefore unshowable?) Man Ray was 80 years old in 1970 and would live another six years. I see it as a “he knew” public confession. Running out of time and wanted to make one more statement on a secret he and just a handful of fellow surrealist KNEW.

*”Black Dahlia flower does not exist. The closest to it is the dark red/maroon dahlia as shown above in the Man Ray portrait.

See links for complete background/details on Equivoque and later 1969 connection to Man Ray’s artwork Minotaure/Unsaleable.

George Hodel Man Ray Photo at Harvard’s Fogg Museum 2007 FAQ

The Timing

1943- Elizabeth Short poses for Man Ray’s L’Equivoque
1947- George Hodel surgically bisects Elizabeth Short’s body and poses it in homage to Man Ray’s Minotaur photograph
1961-  William Copley draws “It is Midnight Dr. ____ showing naked female and surgical tools in homage to George Hodel.
1969-  Man Ray draws Le Invendables (Minotaure showing naked female posed as Minotaur in homage to George Hodel.
1969-  Marcel Duchamp’s secret 20-year art project showing naked female posed in a vacant lot in homage of George Hodel first shown to the public at the Philadelphia Art Museum.


Dr. George Hill Hodel homage to Man Ray’s Minotaure (1934 and Lover’s Lips (1934-5)
1947 Black Dahlia Crime Scene



William Copley homage to Dr.  Hodel    1961


 Man Ray homage to  Dr. Hodel



Duchamp homage to Dr. Hodel











  1. Steve,
    I find the 1970 Lithograph unsettling , his last memory of her? anyone else feel the same way?

    • Steve Hodel says:

      Teresa M: Yes. He was 80 years old and would live another six years. I see it as a “he knew” public confession. Running out of time and wanted to make one more statement.

  2. Dan Lackey says:


    No doubt in my mind that the so called unk woman is ES. Man Ray paying homage to GHH.
    This coupled with the photo of Man Ray holding the Lovers painting with the all-knowing wink of the
    eye. So much of the paying homage back & forth and the homage from Copley & Duchamp, makes
    it all the more obvious that GHH was the BDA.

    Best Regards,

  3. Eric Legay says:

    I do not know if you remember,
    I sent you this reproduction of a Man Ray painting:
    Celeste is east of the west. Céleste est à l’Est de l’Ouest (in french)

    Best regards

  4. Eric: Merci. Seem to have lost the original Email on it? Are you referring to the 1969 Les Invendables Man Ray or the 1970 portrait of an Uknown Woman? steve

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