Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Women's History Month, Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith holding feathers, Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-54231]TITLE: [Portrait of Bessie Smith holding feathers], CALL NUMBER: LOT 12735, no. 1044 [P and P], MEDIUM: 1 photographic print : gelatin silver ; sheet 13 3/16 x 10 7/8 in.
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964, photographer.
Digital ID: van 5a52643 Source: digital file from intermediary roll film Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-09571 (digital file from original photo) , LC-USZ62-94955 (bamp;w film copy neg.) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version (140 kilobytes)

Publication and other forms of distribution: Per the instrument of gift, "for a period of 20 years from the date of this Instrument [1966], none of the photographs contained in said collection may be sold, reproduced, published or given away in any form whatsoever except with my [Saul Mauriber, Photographic Executor for Van Vechten] express permission in writing." This restriction expired in 1986. In 1998 the Library’s Publishing Office was contacted by Bruce Kellner, who disputes Mr. Mauriber’s authority in executing the Instrument of Gift. Upon review of the relevant materials, the Library continues to believe that the photographs are in the public domain. However, patrons are advised that Mr. Kellner has expressed his concern that use of Van Vechten’s photographs "preserve the integrity" of his work, i.e, that photographs not be colorized or cropped, and that proper credit is given to the photographer.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-54231]

NOTES: Title derived from information on verso of photographic print. Van Vechten number: V J 31. Also available on microfilm. Gift; Carl Van Vechten Estate; 1966.

Forms part of: Portrait photographs of celebrities, a LOT which in turn forms part of the Carl Van Vechten photograph collection (Library of Congress).

PART OF: Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. Portrait photographs of celebrities, REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

DIGITAL ID: (digital file from original photo) ppmsca 09571 (digital file from b and w film copy neg.) cph 3b41121 (digital file from intermediary roll film) van 5a52643, CARD #: 2004663573

Bessie Smith, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States on April 15, 1894, Bessie Smith was one of six surviving children of William and Laura Smith. According to Smith's biographer Chris Albertson in his seminal book Bessie (1972, revised in 2003), William Smith was a laborer who also worked as a part-time Baptist preacher, but he died before Bessie could remember him. By the time Bessie was nine, she had lost her mother as well, and her older sister Viola was left in charge of caring for the younger sisters and brothers. As a way of earning money for her impoverished household,

Bessie and her younger brother Andrew began performing on the streets of Chattanooga as a singer/guitarist duo; their preferred location was in front of the White Elephant Saloon at Thirteenth and Elm streets in the heart of the city's African American community. In 1904, her oldest brother Clarence left home to tour with a small traveling theatre company, and it was this decisive act of her brother's that convinced Bessie that she could make a living as an entertainer. As Bessie's niece-by-marriage Ruby Walker told biographer Albertson in 1971, "Bessie probably wouldn't have been in show business if it hadn't been for Clarence."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Bessie Smith.

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