A celebration of the final chapter in the life of New York actress, comedienne, cabaret performer and print model Elaine Swann (1919-2015), who played “old lady” roles from her mid-30s through her 90s. For the last 35 years of her life, Swann lived in a small studio apartment near Times Square where she amassed a collection of hats, costumes, props, ephemera and photographs that documented her prolific career. Swann Song celebrates her hungry and indomitable spirit as she plays out her dreams, while enduring reality, in a photo essay that spans a decade.

All images copyright Kendall Messick (unless otherwise indicated)