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Maud Powell

Maud Powell
Nicholas Richard Brewer, 1857 - 1949
Maud Powell, 22 Aug 1868 - 8 Jan 1920
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 148 x 122.8cm (58 1/4 x 48 3/8")
Frame: 168.3 x 143.5 x 5.7cm (66 1/4 x 56 1/2 x 2 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Joyce McFarland Dlugopolski (in memory of George A. Doole, Jr.) and the Maud Powell Society for Music and Education
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Violinist Maud Powell was a child prodigy who gave her first public performance when she was eight. After study in Leipzig, Paris, and Berlin, she became well known through solo performances at orchestral concerts in Europe and the United States. In 1894 she formed the Maud Powell String Quartet, which debuted at Carnegie Hall. That year she also became the first instrumentalist to record for the Victor Talking Machine Company on the prestigious Red Seal label. Between 1905 and 1919 she made more than seventy recordings, which have recently been re-released. When Powell came to sit for this portrait, she brought her 1775 Guadagnini violin and suggested that the artist arrange "an unconventional costume." He selected a gown that had belonged to an opera star, and noted that "of course, the violin with its beautiful red color had to be in the picture."
The Maud Powell Society for Music and Education, Arlington, Va., Karen Schaffer, President; donor sponsored gift to NPG 2001
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection