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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Fan Club: 1919

Fan Club: 1919

New York circa 1919. The Metropolitan Opera soprano Rosa Ponselle, pensive. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Amazing voice

I listened to a recording of her singing Bizet's Carmen and it gave me goose bumps! An amazing voice and an amazing ability to add dynamics and emotion to it. That is a combination that is hard to find!

Mr. Mel

I suspect your shot was taken in the '30s (judging by her dress style).

She Could Smile

Here she is in an autographed publicity shot. I don't know her age when this was taken, but she was about sixty years old when she signed it. The legendary Diva was discovered by Caruso when she was singing in vaudeville c.1918. Ms Ponselle died in 1981, at age 84.

Illuminating interview.

Thanks for the interview, eTraxx, it was very interesting. And Root 66, I worked with Marty Feldman and there is no similarity, whatsoever!

Cupid's Bow


Pensive to a fault

She is even holding a photo of herself being pensive.

Rosa Ponselle Interview 1970

Interesting, I think:

It's a Toss-Up

I can't tell if she looks more like Peter Lorre or Marty Feldman!
I'm in total agreement with Jeeper, though. She does have a winning smile.

I couldn't resist

I couldn't resist:

Age 22

Born in 1897, source: Wikipedia.

Nice Smile!

She has such a great smile.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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