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Paul Robeson as "The Emperor Jones"
Date: 1934 (printed 1982)
Artist and Related People:
Dimensions: Mount: 16 x 20"
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Credit Line: Gift of John P. Rosenthal, 1984
Description: Extended wall label Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection Section: Celebrities February 8 - June 16, 2019 International Center of Photography 250 Bowery Known for his achievements in theater and social justice, Paul Robeson (1898–1976) first gained recognition as an athlete. He completed a law degree at Columbia University, but rather than pursuing a law career, Robeson became one of the most celebrated performers of his time, and the first African American to take a leading role on Broadway. He also positioned himself as an outspoken activist against the horrors of racism and lynching. Robeson’s 1925 performance as Brutus Jones in the title role of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones met with great acclaim. Some criticized the script as racist, but Robeson recognized that his role defied America’s expectation that African Americans remain submissive and invisible. This portrait shows Robeson in character during the recording of The Emperor Jones as a feature film.
Accession Number: 783.1984