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Maria Callas

Maria Callas
Usage Conditions Apply
Henry Koerner, 1915 - 1991
Maria Callas, 2 Dec 1923 - 16 Sep 1977
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 55.9 x 71.1 x 2.5cm (22 x 28 x 1")
Frame: 79.7 x 94.9 x 7.6cm (31 3/8 x 37 3/8 x 3")
Maria Callas: Female
Maria Callas: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Opera
Maria Callas: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Soprano
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine; frame conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women's Committee
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Henry Koerner
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born New York City
In a postwar opera world that needed stars, Maria Callas was said to have “restored the ancient luster to the title of prima donna.” Born in New York and raised in Greece, Callas, by sheer force of personality and artistry, rejuvenated the public’s interest in this classic music genre. She created renewed attention to the bel canto works of Bellini and Donizetti and influenced the next generation of singers, including Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland, and Marilyn Horne. Part of Callas’s cachet was her volcanic temperament—“I will always be as difficult as necessary to achieve the best”—which ultimately found her fired from the Metropolitan Opera and ostracized by the Chicago Lyric, among other companies. Her box office quotient was so high, however, that most eventually welcomed her back.
Collection Description
In 1978, Time magazine donated approximately eight hundred works of original cover art to the National Portrait Gallery. The museum is dedicated to telling the stories of individuals who have shaped the United States, and the Time Collection—featuring prominent international figures and events—enriches our understanding of the United States in a global context.
En 1978, la revista Time donó a la National Portrait Gallery cerca de 800 obras de arte originales creadas para sus portadas. Nuestro museo se dedica a narrar la historia de figuras que han contribuido a forjar el desarrollo de Estados Unidos, y es así que la Colección Time, que incluye retratos de importantes personalidades internacionales, nos ayuda a comprender mejor a nuestra nación en un contexto global.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
On View
NPG, South Gallery 321 Mezzanine