Marjorie Lawrence photograph collection, 1926-1977 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The Marjorie Lawrence photograph collection complements manuscript collection 127, the Marjorie Lawrence Papers (1926-1977). The collection is contained in 8 boxes and is organized mostly chronologically. Marjorie Lawrence was a great dramatic soprano, singing for the Metropolitan Opera in New York as well as internationally. Her life changed dramatically in 1941 when she was stricken with polio. She overcame her disability and went on to sing again with the Met and have a successful career as a teacher of Opera. She taught at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale from 1960 until 1973, staging many operatic productions. The collection is organized in four distinct groups: the first is photographs relating to events before 1941 and include photos of productions she appeared in as well as her social life. The second group dates from 1941 until 1960 and deals with her battle with polio and her return to Operatic life. The third group documents her career at SIU, from 1960 until 1973. The final group is a miscellaneous category of broad topics and collections of photographs that span many groups.
The collection contains many photographs of Marjorie Lawrence in her operatic roles, her charitable contributions including singing at veterans hospitals and her time spent in the USO. There are photographs of noted dignitaries and fellow colleagues: most notably Queen Elizabeth II of England and a signed photo of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Her life at SIU is heavily documented including many photos of productions she directed and Summer Opera Workshop at her home in Arkansas.