New York. 26 January 1955. Original semi-glossy borderless silver print (25 x 22.5 cm; 9 7/8 x 7 7/8 inches). Very slight residue of mounting tabs at verso corners, otherwise about fine. Item #WRCLIT83587
An excellent portrait of Mattiwilda Dobbs (July 11, 1925 – December 8, 2015) "... an African-American coloratura soprano and one of the first black singers to enjoy a major international career in opera. She was the first black singer to perform at La Scala in Italy, the first black woman to receive a long-term performance contract at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and the first black singer to play a lead role at the San Francisco Opera" - Wikipedia. With Van Vechten's characteristic blindstamp, and on the verso, his manuscript identification of the subject, the date of the session, and his negative key ("IX.mm.6") appear in ink, along with his identification stamp, address and statement of reproduction rights. A variant print from this negative is in the LC Collection, along with prints of five other poses from the same session. This print, much to its credit, is more carefully cropped than the LC print. A similar print of the same negative is in the Van Vechten collection at Yale.