Emmett Estelle Grigsby photograph collection
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Miss Emmett Estelle Grigsby was an Afro-Mexican pianist and daughter of businessman, Mr. R.E. Grigsby from Mexico City, "one of the most prominent colored business men and promoters in the Republic of Mexico." Miss Emmett enrolled in classes at the New England Conservatory of Music after which she toured the United States and Mexico giving piano recitals. One review from a concert in San Antonio in June of 1912 reads, "On this occasion Miss Grigsby seemed at her best, and the ease and grace with which she executed the most difficult music proclaim her one of the most accomplished pianists of the race." Another clipping reads, "Miss Grigsby came to Boston to complete her musical education at the New England Conservatory of Music. She is an accomplished linguist, speaking German, Spanish and English fluently. Miss Grigsby is an artist at the piano and charmed the merry party by her beautiful rendition of two Spanish love songs."
Sources: Album pages, (box 1, folder 1), Emmett Estelle Grigsby photograph collection, Ms. Coll. 1512, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania.
The Emmett Estelle Grigsby photograph collection consists of 102 sepia-toned or black-and-white silver gelatin photographs and seven disbounded album pages containing newspaper clippings with some captions in faded ink. Images document various locations including Mexico, Massachusetts, Texas, and California. The photographs feature Miss Emmett and her various family members and friends in a variety of settings, at home and on the road, including Miss Emmett and her husband and two children. Other scenes documented include a trip to a lake, to the beach, various picnics, and a group vacation in California. The handful of annotations on the verso identify a man named "Dicy," someone named "Bes," and a man named "Mr. Beasley." The photographs are mostly Black men, women, and children, but also feature a handful of white subjects.
The album pages feature newspaper clippings, one portrait of Miss Emmett, and receipts from a music store in Boston, Massachusetts. Also included are short clippings from society pages where Emmett and her mother are often mentioned attending parties and events with other ladies of Boston and elsewhere; reviews of Emmett's performances; annotations from her point of view captioned below the clippings.
The collection is organized into 1 series:
Series 1: Emmett Estelle Grigsby photograph collection
Sold by McBride Rare books, 2022.
Accessioned as 2022.000122. Samantha Dodd wrote and encoded the finding aid, 2023.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Samantha Dodd
- Finding Aid Date
- 2023 May 15
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvannia do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce materials from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.