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Evelyn Nesbit Platinum Print

"The most exquisitely lovely human being I ever looked at"
These are the words newspaperman Irvin S. Cobb used to describe Broadway chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit, the subject of this Rudolf Eickemeyer portrait. The portrait was commissioned by Nesbit's lover, the well-known architect Stanford White. Four years after posing for Eickemeyer, Nesbit married a rival suitor, millionaire Harry K. Thaw. Thaw was a volatile and violent man--and madly jealous. When he learned that White had earlier seduced the teenaged Nesbit, he began carrying a pistol with him. On the evening of June 25, 1906, he confronted White at Madison Square Garden, where the architect was watching a performance in the Garden's roof theater. Thaw approached him, drew out his pistol, fired three times, and shot White to death.

In his will, Eickemeyer left this and other photographs to the Smithsonian.
Rudolf Eickemeyer Jr. (1862-1932)
Stanford White, born November 9, 1853, New York, NY; died June 25, 1906, New York, NY
The Nesbit-White-Thaw love triangle was the subject of the 1955 film The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, starring Joan Collins as Evelyn Nesbit, Ray Miland as Stanford White, and Farley Granger as Harry K. Thaw.
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Learn more!
· "Pictures of a Tragedy" by Edwards Park, "Smithsonian" magazine, February 1999

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