“THE ARTIST MUST ELECT TO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM OR FOR SLAVERY. I HAVE MADE MY CHOICE. I HAD NO ALTERNATIVE” (PAUL ROBESON): SCARCE PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT OF ROBESON, SIGNED BY HIM
ROBESON, Paul. Photograph signed. (London: Mme. S. Georges), circa 1940. Vintage sepia photographic print (4-1/2 by 7 inches), signed on print recto, studio inkstamp, penciled identification on print verso. $1200.
Vintage sepia studio photographic portrait of Paul Robeson, boldly signed by him.
“One of the most influential performers and political figures to emerge from black America,” Paul Robeson was internationally famed as an actor, singer and activist (New York Times). The son of a runaway slave, Robeson earned a law degree from Columbia University before he found his way to the stage and ultimately to his true passion, music. Robeson “had so many talents he made acting seem narrow… Robeson could sing the works of the masters; he could play O’Neill and Shakespeare… testament enough that hardly anyone now would dare to fill his part” (Thomson, 766). Reflecting on the controversy often surrounding him, Robeson memorably said: “The artist must elect to fight for freedom or for slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative.” Print verso with inkstamp: “Reproduction by Mme. S. Georges, 51 St. Johns Road, London, S.W. 11.”; penciled “Paul Robeson” in an unidentified hand.
Signature bold, tiny crease to upper corner not affecting image. A fine signed print.