"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Marian Anderson

This 1955 portrait of Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial by Betsy Graves Reyneau hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Arturo Toscanini said that Marian Anderson had a voice that came along 'once in a hundred years.' When one of Anderson's teachers first heard her sing, the magnitude of her talent moved him to tears. Because she was black, however, her initial prospects as a concert singer in this country were sharply limited, and her early professional triumphs took place mostly in Europe. The magnitude of her musical gifts ultimately won her recognition in the United States as well. Despite that acclaim, in 1939 the Daughters of the American Revolution banned her from performing at Constitution Hall. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt ultimately intervened and facilitated Anderson's Easter Sunday outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial -- an event witnessed by 75,000 and broadcast to a radio audience of millions. The affair generated great sympathy tor Anderson and became a defining moment in America's civil rights movement." -- National Portrait Gallery
Charles Henry Alston portrayed Marian Anderson in a WWII propaganda poster in 1943.

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