Paul Robeson(1898-1976), Singer
Sitter in 3 portraits
The son of a former slave, Robeson graduated at the top of his class from Rutgers University in New Jersey where he studied law. In 1919, he attended Columbia Law School, but turned to the performing arts due to the lack of opportunities for black legal professionals. Robeson's early stage success came with his title role in Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones in New York (1924) and London (1925). Between 1925 and 1942, he appeared in eleven feature films, including Show Boat (1936), Song of Freedom (1936) and The Proud Valley (1940). During the 1950s, Robeson's political activism forced him to leave the United States, and he lived in the UK from 1958 to 1963. Robeson gave song recitals world wide, returning to the US when he retired.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.