When musician Pasquale Taraffo applied for a visa, he had to supply evidence of his abilities. This photograph of Taraffo playing the harp guitar was found in a folder in the National Archives.
Born in Genoa, Italy, in 1887, the musician began giving guitar concerts at age nine. He eventually switched from the traditional guitar to the harp guitar, a 14-string instrument mounted on a pedestal. Taraffo started touring abroad in 1910, performing on his own and with other musicians. Known as “the Paganini of the guitar”—a reference to the legendary Italian violinist—he was wildly popular around the world and especially in South America.
You can see Taraffo’s story in Attachments, open through September 4, and in this blog post.