Performers Cindy Chung Camins, Jheanelle Garriques, Gina Young, and Jess Imme re-interpret the iconic figure of Sappho for the contemporary era at The Huntington Library’s An Evening Among the Roses, June 9, 2017. Photos by Rebecca Ora and Kate Lain.
Known to Aristotle simply as “The Poetess” and praised by Plato as “the tenth muse,” Sappho is the founding figure of female artistic genius and queer desire in Western civilization. She has been a popular and enduring figure in the visual arts, particularly in statuary and onstage. Actresses from Sarah Bernhardt to Greta Garbo have taken on the role of Sappho. In 1900, actress Olga Nethersole shocked the world with her interpretation of Sappho, which began with a statue that came to life.