Skip to main content

Due to rising regional and national cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo, will temporarily close to the public starting Monday, Nov. 23. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time.

Charlotte Cushman

Charlotte Cushman
Unidentified Artist
Charlotte Saunders Cushman, 23 Jul 1816 - 17 Feb 1876
c. 1850
Half-plate daguerreotype
Image: 12 × 9 cm (4 3/4 × 3 9/16")
Case open: 15.2 × 12.2 × 1.3 cm (6 × 4 13/16 × 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte Cushman was the foremost American-born actress of her day and the first to enjoy critical and popular acclaim at home and abroad. Following her 1836 New York City stage debut as Lady Macbeth, she honed her craft there and in Philadelphia, where she managed the Walnut Street Theatre from 1842 to 1844. With a dramatic range and commanding stage presence that more than compensated for her lack of conventional beauty, Cushman boldly developed a repertoire that included male as well as female roles. Taking London by storm in 1845, she returned to universal acclaim in the United States in 1849.
Nacida en Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte Cushman fue en su día la actriz estadou- nidense más importante, y la primera que fue aclamada por el público y la crítica tanto en su país como en el extranjero. Después de su debut de 1836 en Nueva York como Lady Macbeth, perfeccionó su arte allí y en Filadelfia, donde dirigió el Walnut Street Theatre de 1842 a 1844. Con un registro dramático y una presencia escénica que compensaban de sobra su falta de belleza convencional, Cushman desarrolló un repertorio que incluía también papeles mascu- linos. Luego de conquistar Londres en 1845, regresó triunfante a Estados Unidos en 1849.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Women of Progress: Early Camera Portraits
On View
NPG, East Gallery 134