Hollman, Joseph. (1852–1927) [Powell, Maud. (1867-1920)?]
Signed Cabinet Photograph possibly to Maud Powell
Signed Elliott & Fry cabinet photograph of the great Dutch cellist, who has inscribed "To Miss Powell, / from J. Hollman / New York / 1893." 4.25 x 6.5 inches (10.8 x 16.5 cm.), verso with significant losses and mounting remnants, lower right corner fully separated and repaired verso and edge with archival tape (imaged).
A student of Servais and Fétis in Brussels, Jacquard in Paris, and Davidoff in St. Petersburg, Hollman went on to be one of the most celebrated cellists of his time. He is the composer of a number of smaller works for his instrument and the dedicatee of the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto Nr. 2.
The particulars of the inscription's dedicatee, location and date raise the intriguing possibility that the present photograph may have been inscribed to the great violinist Maud Powell. In the year of this inscription, Theodore Thomas had chosen Powell to represent America's achievement in violin performance at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago - the only woman violin soloist - and during the 1893 Exposition, Powell presented a paper to the Women's Musical Congress, "Women and the Violin," in which she encouraged young women to take up the violin seriously. She toured extensively that year and performed seven times in New York, where she may have encountered Hollman, who likewise performed there a number of times in 1893.