Portrait of Lillian Evans Tibbs Evanti

  • P. H. Polk, Portrait of Lillian Evans Tibbs Evanti, 1937, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Thurlow Evans Tibbs, Jr., 1994.61

Exhibition Label
A stately Russian wolfhound recruited for this portrait accentuates the poise and glamour of Lillian Evans Tibbs. Known professionally as Madame Evanti, this Washington native was an internationally acclaimed lyric soprano and the first African American to sing with the Paris Opera. P.H. Polk treated his clients as collaborators, claiming, “If you can’t touch a person in some way, you don’t get a good picture.” His portrait of Lillian Evans Tibbs was designed to reveal her personality, rather than to promote her celebrity status.

A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013
Portrait of Lillian Evans Tibbs Evanti
On View
Not on view.
image: 10 3/8 x 8 in. (26.4 x 20.3 cm)
sheet: 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (34.3 x 26.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Thurlow Evans Tibbs, Jr.

  • Dress – accessory – hat
  • Ethnic – African-American
  • Performing arts – music – voice
  • Portrait female – Tibbs, Lillian Evans – full length
  • Portrait female – Evanti, Lillian, Madame – full length
  • Animal – dog – borzoi
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI