Paderewski, Ignacy Jan, photographic portrait signed and inscribed on the mount in black ink “To Miss Ella G. Pearce, with every good wish of I. J. Paderewski 15 III 1921.” Sepia-toned seated half-length portrait by Hartsook of San Francisco and Los Angeles, 24 cm x 19 cm, on a larger heavy paper mount 35 cm x 28 cm, with the photo attached to the mount only with very slight glue at the top verso of the photo. A vintage silver gelatin print in very good condition, made of the great pianist at age 61, when he was busy raising money for the refugees of World War I.
Born in Kurylówka, Poland in 1860, Paderewski died in 1941 in New York. Remembered for his patriotism, extraordinary presence on the concert stage and for the beauty of the sounds he drew from the piano, this great Polish pianist was also a successful composer and an international statesman, representing his people at the Conference of Versailles. As an adult, he was an unusually ‘old’ advanced pupil of Theodor Leschetizky (1830 – 1915), himself a pupil of Karl Czerny, Beethoven’s best piano pupil. Paderewski the patriot became Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Poland in 1919. After his temporary retirement from the concert stage, he resumed his concert career in 1922. In 1936 he even appeared in a Hollywood movie, Moonlight Sonata. He is, perhaps, best remembered by generations of piano students for his very reliable and widely used edition of Chopin’s complete piano works. Paderewski was one of the last performing legendary virtuoso pianists to survive from the nineteenth century into the twentieth.