Modern albumen print from wet plate collodion negative
Image: 9 × 6 cm (3 9/16 × 2 3/8")
Sheet: 10.7 × 9.6 cm (4 3/16 × 3 3/4")
Mat: 35.6 × 28 cm (14 × 11")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Frederick Hill Meserve Collection
Pianist Teresa Carreño was only eight years old and a recent émigré from Venezuela when she gave her first public recital in New York in 1862. This debut was a resounding success and attracted the notice of composer and piano virtuoso Louis Moreau Gottschalk, who quickly assumed the role of Carreño's teacher and mentor. Within a year, she was performing for President Lincoln at the White House, where her selections included a dazzling interpretation of the president's favorite, "Listen to the Mockingbird." Continuing her musical studies in Europe in 1866, Carreño went on to make the successful transition from child prodigy to adult performer whose virtuosity and power earned her the title "the Valkyrie of the piano." Recognized as one of the greatest pianists of her time, she continued to perform on the concert stage until just weeks before her death.