Research Catalog

Edna Thomas collection [graphic].

Title
Edna Thomas collection [graphic].
Author
Thomas, Edna, 1885-1974,
Publication
[1900?]-[1960?]

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FormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
Still imageUse in libraryAvailableSc Photo Edna Thomas CollectionSchomburg Center - Photographs & Prints

Details

Additional Authors
Description
  • 1 cabinet photograph : gelatin silver, b&w; 14 x 8 cm. or smaller.
  • 1 identification photograph : gelatin silver, b&w ; 7 x 10 cm.
  • 1 photographic postcard : gelatin silver, b&w ; 7 x 10 cm.
  • 10 photographic prints : gelatin silver, b&w ;
  • 3 photographic prints : gelatin silver, b&w ;
  • 6 photographic prints : col. ;
  • 62 photographic prints : gelatin silver, b&w ;
  • 84 items (3 cu. ft. 1 box)
Alternative Title
  • A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Macbeth.
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Dye coupler prints – 1900-1959.
  • Gelatin silver prints – 1900-1959.
  • Group portraits – 1900-1959.
  • Portrait photographs – 1900-1959.
  • Publicity photographs – 1900-1959.
  • Snapshots – 1900-1959.
Note
  • Title devised by cataloger.
  • Some photographs bear photographer's or photography studio's handstamp on verso. Some items bear handwritten captions on verso. One item bears printed caption on recto. Some items are mounted. One item is cropped. Two items are in need of conservation.
  • Collection contains work by James Latimer Allen, James J. Kriegsmann, Thomas D. Sanford, Carl Van Vechten, Gee & Watson, and WPA Federal Theatre Photos, among others.
Terms of Use (note)
  • Some items are restricted; permission of the copyright holder is required for duplication.
Biography (note)
  • Edna Lewis Thomas was born in 1885 in Lawrenceville, Virginia, and grew up in Boston. Widowed at a young age, she re-married Lloyd Thomas, and the couple was drawn to Harlem, New York City, for its culture and social life during the Harlem Renaissance. She was friends with photographer Carl Van Vechten and A'Lelia Walker, daughter of the first black female businesswomen, who entertained lavishly. Thomas made her stage debut in 1920 and won critical acclaim in many productions including those sponsored by the Black units of the WPA Federal Theatre. In her later years she was part of the original cast of "A Streetcar Named Desire," as the Mexican woman, a portrayal she repeated for subsequent revivals and in the 1956 film version. She died in New York City in 1974 at the age of 88.
Call Number
Sc Photo Edna Thomas Collection
Author
Thomas, Edna, 1885-1974, collector.
Title
Edna Thomas collection [graphic].
Imprint
[1900?]-[1960?]
Summary
The Edna Thomas Collection, dating from the 1900s to the 1950s, depicts some aspects of the actress' personal and professional life. The collection consists of individual and group portraits as well as candid shots of Thomas, her husband and friends. Documentation of Thomas' professional life show her in a character study and in views of theater scenes. The collection is limited in documenting Thomas' childhood and her involvement in the Harlem Renaissance.
Collection includes quarter and three-quarter length studio portraits of Thomas, including one by James Latimer Allen. Some snapshots of Thomas show her with dogs and children, visiting Florida (1956, 1957) and posing theatrically for the camera. Lloyd Thomas, her husband, is depicted in a studio portrait by Carl Van Vechten. Photos of Thomas' friends include studio portraits of Alberta Hunter, Fredi Washington, Elizabeth Welch, and Olivia Wyndham. Other images of Olivia Wyndham show her as a child with her mother (?) in a cabinet card and document her service in the U.S. Army Signal Corp. She is also depicted with Thomas in snapshots. The Peters Sisters are depicted in a restaurant with Jimmie Daniels. Daniels is also pictured with Elizabeth Welch.
Thomas is depicted in a character study by Van Vechten as the old Mexican woman in the stage version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1948). The collection contains views of scenes from "Macbeth" produced by the Negro Theatre Project of the Federal Theatre Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) (1936), directed by Orson Welles and featuring Jack Carter and Thomas.
Terms Of Use
Some items are restricted; permission of the copyright holder is required for duplication.
Biography
Edna Lewis Thomas was born in 1885 in Lawrenceville, Virginia, and grew up in Boston. Widowed at a young age, she re-married Lloyd Thomas, and the couple was drawn to Harlem, New York City, for its culture and social life during the Harlem Renaissance. She was friends with photographer Carl Van Vechten and A'Lelia Walker, daughter of the first black female businesswomen, who entertained lavishly. Thomas made her stage debut in 1920 and won critical acclaim in many productions including those sponsored by the Black units of the WPA Federal Theatre. In her later years she was part of the original cast of "A Streetcar Named Desire," as the Mexican woman, a portrayal she repeated for subsequent revivals and in the 1956 film version. She died in New York City in 1974 at the age of 88.
Added Author
Allen, James L. (James Latimer), 1907-1977. Photographer
Kriegsmann, James J. Photographer
Sanford, Thomas D. Photographer
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. Photographer
Gee & Watson.
WPA Federal Theatre.
Added Title
A Streetcar Named Desire.
Macbeth.
Research Call Number
Sc Photo Edna Thomas Collection
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