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Luther Boswell for Mathew Brady 

Jenny Lind


Whole-plate daguerreotype, gold-toned

8 1/2 x 6 3/8 in. ( 21.59 x 16.2 cm)

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington D. C. 

Luther Boswell, a photographer working for Mathew Brady, took this daguerreotype of opera singer Jenny Lind in September of 1850 (whole-plate daguerreotype) near the end of her successful first American tour, arranged by P. T. Barnum, of which copies were later made. His promotion of the “Swedish Nightingale,” which emphasized Lind’s innocence, modesty, and vocal talent, resulted in sold-out venues across the nation. Brady’s portrait of Lind would have been seen by visitors to his studio gallery. The reflective surface of this image results from the silver-coated plate used to produce daguerreotype prints.

— Claire McRee + Laura Kelly-Bowditch