This black corset and pink ruffled skirt were designed by Donna Langman and worn by Denyce Graves as the lead in the Washington National Opera's production of Carmen during the 1993-1994 season. The corset (a) is made from black silk satin and is sleeveless and strapless. A loop of black woven cotton tape is sewn at the top of both sides with black beaded decoration covering the tape and black beaded fringe hanging below it. These beaded pieces are worn draped across the upper arm, not over the shoulder. The corset closes at the center back with a black metal zipper and one (1) hook-and-eye at the top of the zipper. The interior of the corset is lined with a black silk and cotton floral brocade. The seams are pressed open and serged along the raw edges. Flexible boning covered in black ribbon with a woven floral design is hand sewn to the interior to provide stiff shaping. There are sixteen (16) long pieces of boning around the corset and two (2) shorter pieces of boning sewn one at each front side where the arm meets the chest. A cream fabric label is sewn at the interior proper left back with embroidered and handwritten black text reading "Donna Langman / Denyce Graves [handwritten] / new york". Hanger loops made from the black floral ribbon are sewn at each interior side.
The skirt (b) has tiers of pink iridescent silk taffeta ruffles cascading down the front. A single pink taffeta ruffle runs around the entire bottom of the skirt, which is longer in the back with a slight train. The waist and the back of the skirt are faced in a fuchsia synthetic satin fabric. This fabric is covered on the skirt by a black velvet overlay that wraps around the sides and ends in a v at the center front waist. The velvet is sewn to the skirt around the waist and is tacked around the length of the skirt where the fuchsia fabric meets the pink taffeta ruffle. A length of black lace is sewn around the top edge of the velvet overlay, which resembles a long scarf or shawl wrapped around the waist of a Spanish flamenco style skirt. The skirt closes at the center back using a pink plastic zipper with one (1) metal snap and one (1) metal hook-and-eye. An additional black metal invisible zipper is sewn at the center back of the black velvet overlay, covering the pink metal zipper when closed. Buckram is sewn inside the waistband and the hem of the skirt. The skirt is not lined. Two (2) hanger loops made from pink synthetic fabric are sewn one at each interior side waist.
Letter to Mrs. Terrell from Joseph H. Douglass, grandson of Frederick Douglass, dated May 31, 1911. Single page written on Douglass' personal stationary. Black ink on tan paper. Letter head at the top reads [JOSEPH H. DOUGLASS / Solo Violinist / ENGAGEMENTS ACCEPTED / FOR RECITALS / CONCERTS AND CHURCH / SERVICES / NOW TOURING AMERICA]. Along the left side of the page is a text box containing five quotes from newspapers titled [PRESS COMMENTS]. The handwritten letter reads [1644 Fla. ave N. W. / Wash. D.C. May 31st 1911 / My dear Mrs Terrell: / Replying to your esteemed / favor just received, will say / that it is my pleasure to / accept the invitation to the present / and render a violin selection / on the occasion of the one hun- / dredth anniversary of Harriet / Beecher Stowe. / I thank you for the oppor- / tunity and honor which enables / me to add my little mite / in the celebration of that noble / woman's birth as well as to appear / before such a body of honored women. / I am proud of the fact that / among those mentioned in your / letter, none will be more represen- / tative or distinguished among the / speakers of the meeting than your / honored self. / Yours most sincerely / Joseph H. Douglass / (P.S. / I have carefully / noted the date June 14")]
A typed letter in reply to a letter from Dorothy Porter with retained carbon copies of her original letter, written on Handy Brothers letterhead, from W.C. Handy dated March 1, 1939. Handy writes that he has just noticed an earlier request from Porter for some material for Negro History Week. "Although it is too late for Negro History Week, I am sending you material for all times. . ." He goes on to recite a list of publications of music by Negro composers. The back of the letter is blank.
A typewritten letter on United States Information Agency letterhead. The letter starts, "Dear Mr. Gillespie: / Your letter of congratulations was most welcome, / and I appreciate your good wishes as I begin my work / with USIA." It is signed "Edward R. Murrow" in the bottom right corner.
A framed award commemorating the sale of over one (1) million copies of the album “1999” by Prince from the Recording Industry Association of America. The award features a platinum record album with the “1999” center label attached. The label depicts Prince’s proper left eye and eyebrow, with the spindle hole in the center of the iris. Affixed at the bottom of the record is one half of a cassette tape, also covered in platinum. In the label area of the cassette a plaque is attached that is engraved with the text: “PLATINUM SALES AWARD”. Below the cassette tape is a silver plaque divided into thirds. On the left side of the plaque is a small image of the “1999” album cover. In the middle section the plaque is engraved with text that reads: “PRESENTED TO / PRINCE / TO COMMEMORATE THE SALE OF MORE THAN / 1,000,000 COPIES OF THE / WARNER BROS. RECORDS / ALBUM, CASSETTE AND C.D. / ‘1999’”. On the right side of the plaque is a holographic sticker that reads “RIAA / CERTIFIED SALES AWARD”. The album, cassette, and plaque are mounted on dark blue paper, which is covered with black matting board so that only a thin frame of the blue paper is visible as an outline around the items. The wood frame is covered in black vinyl on the left, right and top edges. The verso is covered in brown paper and a metal self-leveling sawtooth picture hanger is stapled at the center top of the frame.