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Powell, Maud

Collection Information

CollectionPortrait of Maud Powell with violinMaud Powell: ""The arm of a man the heart of a woman the head of an artist"

Maud Powell materials


Sousa Archives and Center for American Music–Photographs and individual paper items

Correspondence in Collections File (“Powell, Maud”); 78-rpm records in the University Press Building Library storage area, which, as of 2019, have been transferred to the Internet Archive for digitization.


Many items donated by Marshall Howenstein, at the suggestion of School of Music faculty member Paul Rolland; other items from various sources as documented through correspondence and memos in the Collections File folder

When acquired

September 6, 1972 (initial donation by Marshall Howenstein)


The acclaimed violinist Maud Powell (1867-1920) was born in Peru, Illinois, spent her formative years in Aurora, and studied in Europe with Schradieck, Dancla, and Joachim. She concertized extensively in Europe and America, appeared with major symphony orchestras, and was a featured soloist with Sousa’s band.

In 1972 Marshall Howenstein donated to the University a collection of Maud Powell artifacts and photographs (some of which were arranged in a small display case), including a plaster cast of Maud Powell’s hand, a brooch, a linen handkerchief, a medal, and a miniature photograph of the young Maud Powell on a pin. These five items were subsequently donated, with the concurrence of Howenstein, to the newly-established Maud Powell Foundation in Arlington, Virginia.

The remaining paper materials in the Collections File include a number of photographs; concert programs and other ephemera; several notes from Powell’s cousin Mabel Love to Howenstein; copies of newspaper and magazine articles; biographical and genealogical sketches; discographies; an obituary; and a xeroxed copy of published sheet music, “Caprice on Dixie” (1916), for unaccompanied violin, by Herman Bellstedt, Jr., ”as played by Maud Powell (for whom it was written).” Among other items in the Music and Performing Arts Library related to Maud Powell are the following:

Martens, Frederick H.
Violin mastery: talks with master violinists and teachers (New York: 1919) [ 787.1 M36v; copy in Special Collections is inscribed to Powell by the author, with colored photograph of her violin attached to flyleaf]

Recordings: refer to online catalog for CD and LP discs.

Access/Finding Aids/Bibliography

See Series 1, Box 1, Folders 5-10 of the  Music and Performing Arts Library Small Special Collections, 1911-1981 Finding Aid for photographs and individual paper items. See Victor discography lists and inventory below.  Uncataloged records (78 rpm) are interfiled by company/serial number within uncataloged 78-rpm records in University Press Building Library storage area, which as of 2019 have been transferred to the Internet Archive for digitization.

Powell Victor Discography (PDF)

Powell LP Donation List (PDF)

Index terms

Howenstein, Marshall; Powell, Maud; Violin

See also

“Powell, Maud” in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , 2d ed. (New York: 2001), vol.20, p.241 or Grove Music Online