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    Sep 24

    Written by: Michael Dalby 9/24/2009 11:57 AM 

    Autographed fanA recently cataloged item to join the treasures of the John G. White Special Collections Department is a Metropolitan Opera Autographed Fan, (Circa 1899-1909).  The dealer's description describes it by indicating that it is a, "dismantled silk fan signed by 59 performing artists, most of them stars of the Metropolitan Opera.  Mounted flat with the guards and inner sticks removed," it is in a circular frame with a mirrored center and signed by many noted opera singers including David Bispham, Emma Calve, Enrico Caruso, Antonio Scotti, and Edith Walker, and other stars such as Sarah Bernhardt, John Drew, and Henry Irving.  "In October 1883 the Metropolitan Opera House opened its doors with a performance of Gounod's Faust.  Under the able leadership of Leopold Damrosch it became a center for German opera, but audiences soon wearied of the predictable repertoire.  Maurice Grau, a shrewd Autographed fanstudent of public taste and impresario of London's Covent Garden took over the management of the opera in 1891 and brought back its popularity....

    Our autographed fan is a remarkable and unique artifact from the Metropolitan Opera's heyday."  To view this and other treasures, visit the Special Collections Department of the Cleveland Public Library on the 3rd Floor of the Main Library Building.


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