The Alberta Hunter photograph collection documents her personal life and professional career. Personal photographs consist of portraits and snapshots of Alberta, family, friends and acquaintances. Documentation of Alberta's private include photographs of her travels to Greece and Jerusalem during her later years (1970s). Photographs of friends include a box of portraits and publicity shots of well known entertainers, many of which are inscribed to Alberta. Snapshots of Alberta and friends document her 83rd birthday celebration, a birthday celebration for Lena Horne, and other activities. A number of snapshots include Marian Anderson, Lottie Tyler, and John Payne and other African-Americans residing in Europe in the 1920s.
Singing career photographs document Alberta in "Show Boat" with Paul Robeson, Edith Day, and others at the Theatre Royale, Drury Lane. Images also capture Alberta during a NBC radio broadcast (1937). U.S.O. tours include Europe, China, Egypt, Guam, Hawaii, India, Japan, Korea, Mynamar (Burma), and Turkey. U.S.O. works capture Alberta involved in daily camp activities with U.S.O. troops, camp shows, and Alberta during a number of performances. U.S.O. photographs document historic sites in the various regions where Alberta was stationed. Included also are images of Alberta at the "Cookry" in Greenwhich Village, New York.
Alberta's recording career is documented by photographs taken during a recording session for the film "Remember My Name" produced by Robert Altman. Other images capture Alberta during rehearsals and a television performance. Later singing career photographs include a performances in the United States and abroad, as well as a number of special events. Notably among these are a "Salute to Black Broadway," and the "Kennedy Center Awards," (1978).
Nursing career photographs include graduation class portraits and several photographs of Alberta at Goldwater Memorial Hospital, Roosevelt Island (N.Y.C.), where she worked as a practical nurse. There is an overlap between personal and singing career photographs, as a number of Alberta's professional acquaintances became personal friends.
Biographical/historical: Alberta Hunter was a blues singer and recording artist who performed on an international scale and participated in several United Service Organizations (U.S.O.) tours. Her early career included acting and singing in theatrical productions in Europe and on Broadway. Alberta had a career as a recording artist and a practical nurse (1954-1977). In 1977, Alberta resumed her singing career, and continued to perform until her death in 1984.
Extent: 1002 items (1.9 lin. ft., 7 boxes) 812 photographic prints : silver gelatin, b&w ; 51 x 51 cm. and smaller. 182 photographic prints : col. ; 50 x 40 cm. and smaller. 7 photographic prints : albumen ; 16 x 11 cm. and smaller. 1 negative : b&w ; 6 x 6 cm.