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Paul Swan: Topics in Chronicling America

Remembered as the "Most Beautiful Man in the World," Paul Swan, an artist and stage dancer, captivated audiences. This guide provides access to material related to "Paul Swan" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Why they call me the most beautiful man in the world." March 15, 1914. The Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA), Image 57. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

“It is contrary to convention for a man to praise his own appearance. But is convention always right?” Paul Swan was an artist and stage dancer hailed for his beauty and mistaken by many to be a Greek god. Expressive, forward-thinking and often misunderstood, Swan believed that all men should strive to be beautiful, for there is greater nobility in beauty than simple handsomeness. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


May 12, 1910 A young Paul Swan debuts one of his first professional paintings, commissioned by Alla Nazimova.
May 1913 Suffragettes consider Swan a model of the ideal man.
October 1913 Swan is claimed by Athens to be the son of a God.
March 15, 1914 Swan explains why he is called “The Most Beautiful Man in the World.”
May 10, 1914 Swan discusses his plans to found a Greek colony for art lovers.
May 10, 1915 Swan appears in anti-drug play “The Opium Pipe.”
1917 Swan creates a statue in posthumous honor of a suffragette leader.