Phineas T. Barnum and Ernestine de Faiber

image for Phineas T. Barnum and Ernestine de Faiber
Exhibition Label
The greatest impresario of the nineteenth century, P. T. Barnum was a shrewd judge of popular taste and an intuitive master of the art of publicity who tickled the public's imagination and gleefully exploited its credulity for more than fifty years. Barnum first gained national attention in 1842 with the opening of his American Museum on Broadway in New York City. Offering a veritable smorgasbord of entertainments for a single low admission fee, Barnum's museum became one of New York's most celebrated showplaces. Throughout the spring and summer of 1864, Barnum's Broadway establishment advertised attractions of every description-from a "musically educated seal" to "the great giant girl from Nova Scotia." Among the featured performers was "the beautiful and graceful danseuse" Mlle. Ernestine de Faiber, who had delighted Washington, D.C., audiences earlier that year. To publicize her performances at Barnum's, de Faiber posed for this photograph with the leering showman.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Frederick Hill Meserve Collection
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
c. 1860-1870 (printed later)
Object number
NPG.81.M218.D1
Attribution
Mathew Brady Studio, active 1844 - 1894
Printer
Chicago Albumen Works
Sitter
Phineas Taylor Barnum, 5 Jul 1810 - 7 Apr 1891
Ernestine de Faiber, 1843 - ?
Topic
Costume\Jewelry
Costume\Jewelry\Earring
Interior
Costume\Dress Accessory\Flower
Equipment\Wheel
Home Furnishings\Curtain
Costume\Headgear\Headdress\Crown
Costume\Dress Accessory\Bow
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie\Necktie
Costume\Footwear\Ballet slippers
Phineas Taylor Barnum: Male
Phineas Taylor Barnum: Performing Arts\Performer\Showman
Phineas Taylor Barnum: Performing Arts\Circus Owner
Phineas Taylor Barnum: Society and Social Change\Administrator\Museum
Ernestine de Faiber: Female
Ernestine de Faiber: Performing Arts\Performer\Dancer
Portrait
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Medium
Modern albumen print from wet plate collodion negative
Dimensions
Image: 8.9 × 6 cm (3 1/2 × 2 3/8")
Sheet: 15 × 12.5 cm (5 7/8 × 4 15/16")
Mat: 35.6 × 27.9 cm (14 × 11")
National Portrait Gallery
Type
Photograph