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Marian Anderson sings at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Object Details

Artist
Arthur Ellis, 1912 - 3 Feb 1989
Sitter
Marian Anderson, 27 Feb 1897 - 8 Apr 1993
Unidentified Man
Associated Person
Abraham Lincoln, 12 Feb 1809 - 15 Apr 1865
Date
April 9, 1939
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 34.8 × 27.6 cm (13 11/16 × 10 7/8")
Sheet: 35.6 × 28.3 cm (14 × 11 1/8")
Mat: 50.8 × 40.6 cm (20 × 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Estate of Frederica Ellis, wife of Arthur J. Ellis) The Corcoran Gallery of Art, one of the country’s first private museums, was established in 1869 to promote art and American genius. In 2014 the Works from the Corcoran Collection were distributed to institutions in Washington, D.C.
Exhibition Label
On April 9, 1939, Marian Anderson sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before a desegregated crowd of 75,000 people. This had not been her intended stage. The concert’s organizer, Howard University, had initially contacted the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and then the D.C. Board of Education about renting a large venue to accommodate her many fans. Both organizations, however, upheld segregationist policies and turned down the university’s request. A national controversy ensued, one that highlighted discrimination in the United States. Reporters repeatedly asked Anderson if she had anything to say. As with prior segregation-related disputes, she remained relatively silent. Years later, in her 1956 autobiography My Lord, What a Morning, she explained that she “did not want to talk” and especially “did not want to say anything about the D.A.R.” This would not be the last time that Anderson would feel reticent about confronting issues of race.
El 9 de abril de 1939, Marian Anderson cantó en las escalinatas del Monumento a Lincoln ante una multitud no segregada de 75,000 personas. Este no era el escenario que había planeado. La organizadora del concierto, la Universidad Howard, había contactado inicialmente a las Hijas de la Revolución Americana (DAR) y luego al Consejo de Educación de Washington D.C. para alquilar un gran recinto donde cupieran los muchos admiradores de la cantante. Ambas organizaciones, sin embargo, tenían políticas segregacionistas y rechazaron la solicitud de la universidad. Esto resultó en una controversia a nivel nacional, que puso de relieve la discriminación en Estados Unidos.
Los reporteros preguntaron a Anderson repetidamente si tenía algún comentario. Al igual que con disputas anteriores relacionadas con la segregación, la cantante mantuvo un relativo silencio. Años más tarde, en su autobiografía de 1956 titulada Dios mío, qué mañana, explicó que “no quería hablar” y que especialmente “no quería decir nada sobre la D.A.R.”. Esta no sería la última vez que Anderson se mostraría reticente a confrontar problemas raciales.
Object number
NPG.2019.45
Type
Photograph
Place
United States\District of Columbia\Washington\parks\The Mall
Topic
Costume\Jewelry\Necklace
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Equipment\Sound Devices\Microphone
Architecture\Column
Exterior\Exterior with Interior View
Artwork\Sculpture\Statue
Costume\Outerwear\Coat\Fur
Architecture\Stairs
Unidentified Man: Male
Marian Anderson: Female
Marian Anderson: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Opera
Marian Anderson: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Teacher\Music
Marian Anderson: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Marian Anderson: Congressional Gold Medal
Portrait
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4d28a79a1-efc1-42a7-874d-a4458545b0fa
Record ID
npg_NPG.2019.45
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