Portrait of Paul Robeson as Othello.

New York: June 1, 1944.

Full length, in costume designed by Robert Edmond Jones. Vintage gelatin silver print. 1 vols. 9-3/4 x 7-1/4. Very good, archival mounting tape on recto. Embossed stamp lower front, atelier stamped on verso: “Photograph by Carl Van Vechten | 101 Central Park West | Cannot be reproduced without permission”, and docketed in ink, giving the subject of the photograph (“Paul Robeson as Othello”), the date (“1 vi '44”), and the number of the negative (“AA - 7 - 14”) Item #257480

Superb, brooding image of Robeson in one of the most famous performances in American theater history. Robeson had originally played Othello in in a 1930 English production, opposite Dame Peggy Ashcroft as Desdemona, but American taboos against mixed-race casting prevented an American production for years, and was not until 1943 that Robeson’s Othello was ventured in the States. The New York production of Othello at the Schubert Theater with Paul Robeson in the lead, Uta Hagen as Desdemona and José Ferrer as Iago, had the longest run of any Shakespeare play to that time (289 performances), opening on Oct. 19, 1943 and closing n July 1, 1944. It was the first time in US history that an Afro-American portrayed Othello on the stage, and audiences were riveted to see a black man kiss a white woman.

Price: $1,200.00 Free International Delivery