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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Bella Donna: 1921

Bella Donna: 1921

New York. May 16, 1921. The Metropolitan Opera soprano Yvonne d'Arle and friend. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Could It Be?

When she stood up, the bear's mouth closed.

Lost Chord

One minor criticism on the pose. As an amateur guitarist, I have never seen a chord quite like the one Yvonne is playing. I'm sure someone more knowledgable will correct if I am in error! And yes, I did notice that she was hot!

Ziegfeld Girl

Mlle. d'Arles also played Queen Anne in Florence Ziegfeld's 1928 production of The Three Musketeers. And I agree with jimmylee42. Yvonne d'Arle was hot.

Proportionately Speaking

At last a Diva that wasn't super sized.

A timeless beauty

If we had a top 10 Shorpy Babe List this young lady would get my vote.

Sheer beauty

What a magnificently posed photo of a stunning woman holding a beautiful guitar (that I wish I had in my own collection)! Oh, and then there's the bear rug.

Three great things, that go great together

A guitar, a pretty girl, and a bearskin rug!

Look for the bear necessities

The simple bear necessities, forget about your worries and your strife (unless you're the bear!!)

Una fanciulla del West

A student of the important voice instructor and agent William Thorner, the charming Miss d'Arle had already sung with New York's Hammerstein Opera company and toured with the New York Grand Opera. Although born in France, she had been raised in Denver from the age of two, and sang at a roof garden cabaret in New York before signing with Thorner. This photo was probably occasioned by the announcement that she was one of five young American sopranos who had been newly signed for the Metropolitan's 1921-1922 season by the company's General Manager, Giulio Gatti-Casazza, as reported in the New York Times on May 9, 1921. She would remain at the Met until 1926, and later sang leading roles with the St. Louis Civic Opera and other regional companies before moving to Europe. She died in Cannes at age 80 on March 23, 1977.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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