Lois Steers Photograph Collection


Lois Steers was born in Indiana in 1869 and moved to Portland, Oregon, at age 13. Steers studied voice in New York City but stopped singing to concentrate her energy on beginning a concert bureau.

Steers's career as an impresario began when she presented Lillian Nordica to a full house in Portland on February 13, 1902. The concert was a huge success, and Steers became Portland’s only booking agent and one of only two female agents in the United States. She booked orchestras, ballet and opera companies, and musical stars in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah and British Columbia.

In 1904, Wynn Coman became Lois Steers’s business partner. Ms. Coman was native to Portland and had worked in New York as an associate magazine editor. The partners not only brought artists to the Northwest, they saw to the artists’ needs during their stay. Coman usually traveled with the performers while Steers made the necessary arrangements in each town before the artists’ arrival. Their business abilities, combined with the personal care and friendship given to each performer, gave Steers and Coman an excellent reputation in the music community.

In 1935, soon after retiring, Lois Steers donated a collection of photos to the Portland Library. The collection is currently housed in the John Wilson Special Collections.

The library does not hold the copyright to these items. Some items in this collection are believed to be in the public domain based upon their publication date. Items published after the public domain cut-off date that might be protected by copyright are presented here based upon an assertion of fair use. Information about copyright for particular items can be found in the “Rights & Usage” field of each item. 

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