PAUL L. ROBESON - AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH 1928 - HFSID 101333
Sale Price $510.00
Rare youthful image of the international star and activist who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. (3x5)
Photograph signed: "Best Wishes/Paul Robeson". Sepia, 3x5, irregularly cut. Ink notes (unknown hand) at lower margin: "Actor 1928". Photograph by Sasha, London (stamp on verso). Robeson, who was well known in both the U.S. and England as an actor and concert singer by 1925, had first appeared in the United Kingdom in 1928, when he reprised his role as Joe in a London production of Show Boat. That year, he also began the first of many concert appearances in the British Isles, including a number of appearances at Albert Hall and Sunday afternoon concerts in Drury Lane.In 1928, he was also profiled for the "New Yorker" magazine. Athlete, singer and actor Paul Robeson (1898-1976), who is best known for his rendition of "Ol' Man River" from Show Boat, began his ties with the Soviet Union in 1934, when filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein invited him to Russia. Robeson was impressed with the country's equal treatment of the races and made a number of trips to the U.S.S.R., including opening 1959 with a Kremlin gala hosted by Nikita Khrushchev. His Soviet sympathies led to his being put under surveillance by the FBI in 1941 and put on the 1947 "black list" of suspected Communists, a charge that was later refuted. His "manifesto-autobiography" Here I Stand (1958) helped restore his passport, and thereafter he planned a world tour. However, ill-health and paranoia of CIA operatives (whom Robeson and his family accused of tampering with his mental stability using a CIA mind depatterning program called MKULTRA) pushed Robeson into a suicidal manic depressive state, and after attempts to end his own life, he was hospitalized. Between 1961 and 1963, he received ECT treatment in London, though with no psychotherapeutic care, his conditions only worsened. His family eventually relocated him to a Berlin hospital where he was treated. While he recovered, he lived out the remainder of his life deeply affected by his psychological trauma. Ink lightly beaded. Trimmed at lower left blank edge, removing part of "B" in Best. Minor surface crease at upper left background, slight silvering of image. Overall, fine condition.
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