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The Lady and the Fan

Lillian Evanti performed her standard encore, "The Lady and the Fan" while singing at the White House in 1934. Both photographs and handheld fans testify to Evanti's opera roles, notably Rosina in The Barber of Seville. Evanti's friend, Loïs Mailou Jones, famously painted the lyric soprano in costume for this role. A photo of the portrait with the artist and Evanti's grandson, art collector Thurlow Evans Tibbs, Jr., tells a story of artistry, friendship, and family. In the portrait, the trees depicted beyond Evanti echo the shape of the golden yellow fan in her hand. A handheld fan adorned with cherry blossoms recalls renowned trees in Evanti's hometown of Washington, DC. Another fan bears the Cuban flag, possibly from her extensive travel in Latin America as a goodwill ambassador for the Department of State.


Theatre program features photo of Lillian Evanti holding a fan

Lillian Evanti holds a fan in a cover photo on the program from her Nov. 28, 1926 recital at Boston's Copley Theatre.
Evans-Tibbs collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, gift of the Estate of Thurlow E. Tibbs, Jr.


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