Full Caption: The Black Patti, Mme. M. Sissieretta Jones: The Greatest Singer of Her Race. Color poster. New York: Metropolitan Printing Co., 1899. Performing Arts Posters. Prints and Photographs Division. LCUSZC4-5164. Full Caption: The Black Patti, Mme. M. Sissieretta Jones: The Greatest Singer of Her Race. Color poster. New York: Metropolitan Printing Co., 1899. Performing Arts Posters. Prints and Photographs Division. LCUSZC4-5164.

A remarkable soprano voice and a commanding presence won personal success for Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones. The decorations she wears in this 1899 poster testify to her professional triumphs. In 1888 she became the first black singer to appear on stage at Wallack's Theater, and in 1892 she performed at the White House for President William Henry Harrison and in London before the Prince of Wales. Jones was a performer in vaudeville and opera houses throughout her career. She was known as “the Black Patti,” a reference to the celebrated Italian soprano Adelina Patti. Her success helped African Americans gain acceptance as serious artists. The presence of this poster among Performing Arts Posters in the Prints and Photographs Division offers another kind of testimony to Jones's stardom. This collection, consisting mostly of works that poster producers registered for copyright protection, contains many nineteenth-century minstrel posters, but no other portrait poster of a black performer. (For Performing Arts Posters, see page 201.)

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