Singer, Sammy's Bar, New York
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© Estate of Lisette Model, courtesy Baudoin Lebon/Keitelman

Lisette Model
American, New York City, about 1940 - 1944
Gelatin silver print
10 15/16 x 13 3/4 in.

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Bowery old-timers claim her voice has had no match for power and ferocity since Maggie Cline used to stun with "Knock 'Em Down McCloskey."

The uncredited text, referring to this photograph of the bar singer known as "Tillie," accompanied a group of Lisette Model's photographs made at Sammy's Bar that were reproduced in the September 1944 Harper's Bazaar magazine. Taken from below and at a slight diagonal angle, the image captures the vitality and vibrancy of the performer belting it out on the stage at Sammy's, a local favorite in the Bowery district of New York, also visited by photographers Weegee and Diane Arbus. The angle from which the photograph was made also emphasizes the gleaming microphone, which seems to rise up to meet the challenge of projecting Tillie's already powerful voice.