Marian Anderson (1897-1993)
Renowned contralto vocalist and first African American singer to perform with the Metropolitan Opera (Inducted in 1994)
Marian Anderson was an extraordinary opera singer and civil rights icon. She surmounted poverty and discrimination to become a world-renowned artist. After touring Europe early in her career, she returned to the United States. Denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt intervened and Anderson sang at the Lincoln Memorial to nearly 75,000. She was the first African American to sing a major part at the Metropolitan Opera. Her studio was designed by architect Orpheus Fisher along with a house and barn; called Marianna Farm, the complex was located in Danbury. After Anderson’s death, the studio was rescued and restored by a coalition of concerned individuals and preservationists. Now part of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society and the Connecticut African American Freedom Trail, the Studio is located at 43 Main Street in Danbury.
The Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame Historic Site Survey project was funded through generous grants from: