The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 3, 2024

Roberta Flack, singer, for Essence Magazine

Roberta Flack, singer, for Essence Magazine

(American, b. 1944)
Image: 34.9 x 27.2 cm (13 3/4 x 10 11/16 in.); Paper: 35.4 x 27.7 cm (13 15/16 x 10 7/8 in.)
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

Roberta Flack was awarded a full scholarship to Howard University on the basis of her talent as a classical pianist.


Anthony Barboza’s portrayal of the singer is a radical departure from commercial portrait norms of the 1970s, exploiting an extreme close-up and bright highlights that sculpt the artist’s face out of deep shadows. Flack appears in the throes of singing, eyes closed but lips open and outlined with a thin line of light. The image is a study in blackness, exploring Black skin and the extreme ranges of black and white photography.
  • ?-2021
    (Keith de Lellis Gallery, New York, NY)
    June 7, 2021
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • {{cite web|title=Roberta Flack, singer, for Essence Magazine|url=false|author=Anthony Barboza|year=1970s|access-date=03 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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