"Jenny Lind has arrived, and Jenny Lind has triumphed!" declared American newspapers upon the opera star's arrival in New York in 1850. The triumph was made possible by the massive publicity campaign launched by renowned impresario P. T. Barnum, who invited Miss Lind to America for a two-year concert tour. By the time she arrived, Barnum had fanned the flames of feverish anticipation and generated a veritable industry of Jenny Lind hats, gloves, furniture, pianos, and even chewing tobacco. As part of the phenomenon, these candleholders, with their cast figures of the "Swedish Nightingale," also represented the middle- to upper-class tastes of the masses of Americans drawn to her performances. For Barnum, who had never heard her perform, the respectability Jenny Lind brought to the American stage was far more important than her established reputation as a singer. At a time when middle-class Americans associated the theater with lower-class vulgarity, Lind's philanthropy made her a vision of Victorian virtue. Barnum trumpeted every instance of her beneficence and the substantial proceeds she donated to local charities during her tour. Displayed on a parlor mantel or sideboard, the instantly recognizable representations of Lind identified their owner with both her mass popularity and the moral virtue she espoused.


  • Title: Girandole set
  • Date Created: ca. 1845
  • Location: USA
  • Subject Keywords: Jenny Lind
  • Type: Character Products
  • Medium: bronze, marble, cut glass
  • Object ID: 93.2272

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